Proposed law in North Macedonia to allow cannabis flower export shelved

A North Macedonian draft bill that proposed modifications to the current medical cannabis framework has been removed from parliament’s agenda, according to Telma Television.

The bill would have created a legal framework for the export of cannabis flower, which is currently not possible.

That means local companies that have been stockpiling flower for export are going to have to pivot their business models.

Other significant changes that would have been introduced with the bill included the creation of an independent cannabis regulatory agency and increasing requirements to get a business license.

According to Radio Slobodna Europa, the bill was pulled because local, nongovernmental organizations objected to the legal text, disputing the role of the government granting licenses without external control and because the proposed reforms would drive smaller market players out of the industry.

In addition, the main opposition party criticized the bill, saying it would benefit cannabis producers owned by family members of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Parliamentary elections are planned for April.

The Ministry of Health now has the draft bill, which is expected to be subjected to modifications before it resumes the legislative process again.

There is no timeline for the new bill.