The French government will start a medical cannabis experiment that entails giving free cannabis to individuals participating in the experiment.
Last week, the French government published a decree that declares the medical cannabis experiment formally. According to their statement, up to 3,000 patients will be participating and qualified to receive free medical cannabis.
Nicolas Authier, a college professor and chair of the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products’ (or L’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé [ANSM]) medical cannabis committee, said in an interview with Marijuana Business Daily he believes “an invitation to tender for the collection of cannabis-based goods” is coming soon, probably within the month, and providers “will most likely be overseas, in cooperation with pharmaceutical labs established in France and licensed for narcotics.”
As of right now, there’s a time limit of two years on the experiment and the French government believes by March 2021 the free prescriptions could start going out.
There are still a few stipulations for the medical cannabis experiment that haven’t yet been determined, and will be summarized by the general manager of the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products. Among the problems that will be determined are the consumption type and specifications of the cannabis-based goods, including composition and characteristics; the listing of conditions which will qualify for participation; and processes for storing, distributing, importing, and controlling the cannabis.
Businesses that opt to participate in this medical cannabis experiment will be responsible for supplying their own product at no cost, and though the cannabis will be free, it will still have to follow pharmaceutical standards like the Good Manufacturing Practice and other regulations that the French government has set in place. The ANSM will be responsible for implementing a patient registry which will be upgraded, with the consent of patients, by physicians and pharmacies.
Furthermore, physicians and pharmacies who wish to get involved will need to complete a training program, then will need to volunteer for the trial, and businesses who are interested in becoming involved will need to supply their own cannabis. Additionally, a budget for the experiment is currently awaiting approval by French parliament.