France takes steps towards medical cannabis cultivation

On March 1, 2022, France embraced its medical cannabis industry. It was on this memorable day that the market officially launched.

Following the European country’s milestone moment, the French government has even gone as far as to agree to a decree authorizing the distribution, processing, and medical cultivation of medicinal-grade cannabis.

Hot on the heels of Germany, the long-awaited move by the French government means that at some point in the future the green plant will be cultivated for pharmaceutical purposes across the country.

With France being home to Europe’s largest pool of cannabis consumers, cultivation is sure to generate plenty of demand. 

In turn, this is sure to attract much-needed revenue for the country’s economy a particularly promising prospect amid the economically-impactful coronavirus pandemic. 

Potential pitfalls of France’s medical cannabis industry

Although France is moving in the right direction in terms of cannabis reform, it’s likely that the road ahead laden with obstacles. For example, the legislation is sure to prioritize the pharmaceutical industry, meaning that small-scale businesses may find it harder to compete and profit.

Plus, the desire to establish a medically certified (European GMP) supply chain is sure to make industry participation more tricky. Why? For the application of the EU-GMP certificate, pharmaceutical companies must follow a six-step process that is renowned for being time-consuming.

Then there’s the stiff rules as outlined in Article 2, which stipulate that cannabis acquisition, consumption, cultivation, export, manufacture, import, manufacturing, offering and possession in France are still outlawed unless the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products provides a medical authorization.

Only growers who have contracted to supply their production (to a licensed and authorized manufacturer) may cultivate cannabis plants for the purpose of manufacturing medicines,” reads an excerpt from France’s medical cannabis law.

As a direct effect of this strict rule, many major public Canadian companies are sure to establish a firm presence across France; if they haven’t already.

France’s national medical cannabis trial kicked off last year 

Recent reports have revealed that medical cannabis in France indicates promise for therapeutic use; particularly in patient pain models. This is based on the results of one of the country’s first clinical trials.

In March of last year, as part of a two-year nationwide experiment, a French doctor proudly wrote the country’s first medical cannabis prescription — a groundbreaking moment that set the stage for bigger things.

Involving some 3,000,000 participants, the government-launched study aims collect data pertaining to the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis.

While the early results of France’s two-year medical cannabis trials appear to be successful, it remains uncertain as to whether or not authorities will fully welcome flower cannabis as a reliable form of medicine.