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Medical cannabis to be reimbursed in France from March 2021

In 2021, the French government will begin an experiment with medical cannabis, with the reimbursement of 3,000 patients. Companies that choose to participate in this experiment will be responsible for providing their own product free of charge. However, they will still have to comply with GMP pharmaceutical standards and other regulations that the French government will introduce.

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Last week, the French government published a decree officially announcing the experiment that cannabis enthusiasts and patients were waiting for. As they announced, up to 3,000 patients will participate in the ‘experiment’ and receive free medical cannabis.

Nicolas Authier, a university professor and chairman of the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products [ANSM]), said in an interview with Marijuana Business Daily that he believes the tender for the selection of reimbursed cannabis products is likely to start within a month. According to him, suppliers “are likely to be foreign and will work with pharmaceutical laboratories based in France.”

If you want to find more details about the experiment with medical cannabis that the French Government is launching, and to find the latest hemp news, download for free the Hemp.im mobile app.

First prescriptions of free cannabis could be issued next Spring

The French government estimated that the first prescriptions for reimbursed cannabis could be issued as early as March 2021. At present, the experiment is limited in time to two years and is expected to run from March 21, 2021, or from the time the first prescription is issued, whichever comes first. “France is now officially obliged to access medical cannabis.”

There are still some criteria for the reimbursement of medical cannabis that have not yet been defined and will only be outlined by the Director General of the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products. Issues to be resolved include the form and specifications of cannabis products, including their characteristics and composition; a list of diseases that will qualify for participation in the ‘experiment’; and procedures for the storage, distribution, import and control of cannabis.

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Companies will still have to comply with GMP pharmaceutical standards

Companies that choose to participate in this experiment will be responsible for providing their own product free of charge, and although free of charge for selected cannabis patients, they will still have to comply with GMP pharmaceutical standards and other regulations that the French government will introduce.

The Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products will be responsible for the implementation of the patient register, which will be updated by doctors and pharmacies with patients’ consent.

There are also certain restrictions that may prevent patients from accessing free cannabis. As in the rest of Europe, medical cannabis will not be distributed for free and only 3,000 patients will be reimbursed for their treatment. Nor will it be given out as an alternative to other drugs, but rather as a last resort.

In addition, doctors and pharmacies that want to get involved in this experiment will have to complete a training program and companies interested in providing medical cannabis will have to provide sufficient cannabis. In addition, the budget for the reimbursement will need to be approved by the French Parliament.

Nevertheless, regardless of these potential obstacles and the fact that medical cannabis is currently not prescribed at all in France, this groundbreaking experiment can prepare the ground for cannabis medicine worldwide.

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(Featured image by Pierre Blache via Pexels)

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Arturo Garcia started out as a political writer for a local newspaper in Peru, before covering big-league sports for national broadsheets. Eventually he began writing about innovative tech and business trends, which let him travel all over North and South America. Currently he is exploring the world of Bitcoin and cannabis, two hot commodities which he believes are poised to change history.