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Cannabis Flower Arrives in France for Medical Marijuana Pilot Program

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Aug 26, 2021   
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France’s medical cannabis pilot program officially launched this March, but its first shipment of dried cannabis flower has just arrived.

The batch, grown in Denmark by the company Aurora Nordic, will serve as the first prescriptions of dried medical cannabis flower in the French pilot program. Previous prescriptions have been for cannabis oil capsules and solutions.

“The first prescriptions of dried medical cannabis as part of the French pilot program are a significant step toward providing access to patients and will support the destigmatization of medical cannabis in France,” Miguel Martin, CEO of Aurora Cannabis, said in a statement.

Cannabis en francais

Initially scheduled to begin last September, the French medical cannabis trial was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and instead began this March.

The experiment will run for two years and be accessible to up to 3,000 patients who live with a medical condition such as epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer, or muscle spasms as a result of multiple sclerosis.

The drugs themselves are prescribed by volunteer doctors and dispensed by pharmacies participating in the experiment.

Neither the patients nor the French government have to pay for the medications, which are supplied by participating companies at their own cost.

“If successful, this pilot program could lead to one of the largest regulated medical cannabis markets in Europe,” Martin continued in his statement.

While France’s Ministry of Health amended the country’s public health code back in 2014 to allow the use of one cannabis-based medicine, Sativex, the government group has been more hesitant on further medical cannabis legislation.

It wasn’t until September 2018 that the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) began preparing the medical cannabis pilot program with the establishment of a scientific committee to evaluate the “relevance and the feasibility of making cannabis available for therapeutic use in France.”

Recreational cannabis products, such as pre roll joints made with a pre roll machine, are still prohibited across the country.


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