Switzerland is on the cusp of legalizing medical cannabis

Switzerland’s proposed medical cannabis measure demonstrates growth in the European cannabis market

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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As the end of October approached, an amendment to Switzerland’s Narcotic Drugs Act was approved. Initially proposed by the Federal Council, the amendment’s passing means that Swiss healthcare professionals and doctors can now prescribe the plant as medicine to patients.

Examples of some qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Switzerland include cancer-related pain and multiple sclerosis. Prior to the amendment’s approval, only an oral cannabis-based spray was available on prescription for patients with MS.

It was during a parliamentary consultation procedure that the amendment to Switzerland’s Narcotic Drugs Act was approved. The measure has been widely supported by the Swiss Federation of Physicians, among various other prominent parties based in the European country. 

Amendment to Switzerland’s Narcotic Drugs Act simplifies access to medical cannabis

Before the amendment to Switzerland’s Narcotic Drugs Act was approved, medical cannabis patients in Switzerland were required to contact the Federal Office of Public Health for permission to obtain the plant in its medicinal form.

In 2018, the Office distributed around 3,000 authorization among Swiss medical cannabis patients. Now, thanks to the recently passed amendment, individuals who require cannabis for medical purposes won’t have such a difficult task getting their medicine.

According to Medcan – a prominent medical cannabis association in Switzerland – the latest development will help to repair what was considered an “impossible situation” for many decades. Medcan is pleased with the fact that Switzerland’s Narcotic Drugs Act has been fine-tuned and the association is expected to be heavily involved in the burgeoning medical cannabis market.

A few things need to be straightened out first, however. Government officials in the European country revealed shortly after the amendment that a decision must be met regarding the way in which medical cannabis treatments will be paid for by health insurance companies.

European cannabis developments are cropping up left, right and center

Switzerland’s proposed medical cannabis measure demonstrates growth in the European cannabis market. Numerous other countries in the E.U. are working to develop medicinal cannabis programs. What’s more, CBD is now defined as “novel foods” under the Novel Food Directive, as per the European Commission’s clarification.

Investors from all corners are seeking out potential cannabis investment opportunities in the E.U., where cannabinoid-containing epilepsy medication EPIDYOLEX was widely approved in September. In addition to this, various other European cannabis developments are emerging.

Examples include the announcement that Canadian companies Aphria and Aurora would be cultivating cannabis in Germany, the licensed growing and export of cannabis in/from Malta, as well as Luxembourg’s recent decision to fully legalize cannabis for local residents. Combined, these cannabis developments indicate that the E.U. could potentially rival North America’s legal weed industry in the future.