Belgium’s minority government has proposed a law that calls for the establishment of a medical cannabis agency to oversee production and distribution in pharmacies, hospitals and research institutes.
If approved, the law would greatly expand access to medical cannabis in the country, though the most important details – including related regulations – are yet to be determined.
Belgian law has allowed the prescription of Sativex for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis since 2015. The bill proposes extending its availability to also cover ALS patients after other medical options have been exhausted.
The bill – introduced in the Chamber of Representatives on Jan. 18 – requires support from opposition lawmakers. It is unclear if the bill could be approved before elections scheduled for May 26.
The proposed law also asks the federal government to:
- Invest in a new clinical study on the effectiveness of the therapeutic use of cannabinoids.
- Broaden, pending the conclusion of the study, the instances for which the therapeutic use of cannabinoids is authorized.
- Invest in a study on safe production and controlled CBD oil, composed of 5% CBD and 2% THC.
- Recognize, on the basis of that study, CBD oil as a medicine, composed of 5% CBD and 2% THC, and authorize its distribution in hospital pharmacies under the supervision of general practitioners.
Europe continues to be a focal point for global medical cannabis businesses.
European countries will become the world’s largest federally regulated medical cannabis market on a cumulative basis over the next five years, predicts Prohibition Partners, a United Kingdom-based analytics firm.