Yesterday, President Duda signed Poland’s medical cannabis bill into law, making Poland the latest European Union member country to permit the use of medical marijuana.
Cannabis reform in Poland has moved fast and steady in the last couple of months.
Near the end of June, a bill to allow medical marijuana in the European nation was overwhelmingly voted forward by Poland’s Lower House of Parliament. The proposed legislation had incredible support with 440 in favour and 2 against.
In the first week of July, the nation’s Health Care Committee gave their recommendation for legalization to move forward. This approval effectively paved the way to the office of President Andrzej Duda who signed the bill into law on July 20th.
Pharmacists in the Polish nation will soon be able to dispense cannabis, once it is available by import, to those with a doctor’s prescription. Products that will be available in Poland include raw cannabis, tinctures, resin, and other extracts.
Qualifying conditions will include chronic pain, nausea and vomiting from cancer treatment, multiple sclerosis, and drug resistant epilepsy, but there are no specific conditions laid out in the legislation. This intentional open-endedness allows doctors to prescribe cannabis based on new research that comes out. At this time, however, patients will not be refunded for the purchase of cannabis.
Initially, the legislation put forth for medical marijuana was that patients would be able to cultivate their own, but amendments to the bill made the import of raw cannabis the status quo, with doctors and pharmacists as the drug’s gatekeepers. There were also additional amendments stipulating that veterinarians will not be allowed to prescribe cannabis.
The bill effectively goes into law in October and a cannabis institute is being set up to educate doctors, pharmacists, and the public on how to move forward.
“We sent [a to-do list]to the government to let them know what they need to prepare,” said MP Piotr Liroy-Marzec in an interview this morning with Marijuana.com. Liroy-Marzec is one of the authors of the bill and arguably its greatest champion. “The Polish Institute of Cannabis will be starting right now. Education on cannabis is what Poland needs, for the doctors, judges, and pharmacists.”
Liroy-Marzec is still fighting for domestic cultivation, which he feels is an important step, but for the moment, importing cannabis will be the priority for patients who need it.
Liroy-Marzec is thrilled that Poland now has legal medical cannabis legislation. He added that the next steps for him are to convince the government that domestic cultivation is necessary. He is hoping that in a few years, they may even consider the decriminalization of adult-use cannabis as well.
For the moment, Liroy-Marzec and the Polish nation are focusing on the win of the day, which is medical marijuana for those in need. Not a bad win at all.