The number of patients who have received cannabis to treat medical conditions in Luxembourg so far this year has surpassed the total for 2019, local newspaper Luxemburger Wort reported.
The data was disclosed Thursday by Health Minister Paulette Lenert in a reply to parliament.
According to the Luxembourgian newspaper, medical cannabis was prescribed at least once to 415 patients in 2019. So far this year, the number of unique patients is 441.
Since prescriptions started in early 2019, 630 patients have been treated at least once with cannabis.
The minister acknowledged that, in the past, importing medical cannabis has been subject to “complex procedures and sometimes long delays,” but she assured that the current supply is sufficient.
An assessment of the current medical program is due in early 2021, Luxemburger Wort reported.
So far, all medical cannabis sold in Luxembourg is imported.
Considering the growing demand, the country estimated it would need to import a maximum of 270 kilograms (595 pounds) in 2020 – a quantity that was confirmed by the INCB, the independent monitoring body for United Nations international drug control conventions.
The INCB manages a narcotics estimate system that tracks international supply and demand.
Because cannabis is a narcotic, countries must estimate their yearly needs for medical and scientific uses, submit that quantity to the INCB and have it confirmed by the U.N. authority.
Once confirmed, the totals allow countries to import and/or manufacture that maximum quantity in a specific year.
Luxembourg created enthusiasm in the industry at the end of 2018, when the current government promised in its coalition agreement to fully legalize the production of recreational marijuana, possibly becoming the first European country to do so.
However, the promise has yet to materialize in any meaningful way.