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Ukraine took a step towards the legalization of medical cannabis

On June 14, the National Health Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supported the new bill 7457 on the legalization of medical cannabis. This bill duplicates in almost everything last year’s bill “Law for Sofiyka“, which the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine did not adopt a year ago.

People’s Deputy of Ukraine Olga Stefanishyna, who has been an active supporter of the legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine for several years, writes on her Facebook page about the positive and negative aspects of the content of the bill 7457.

If the document is accepted, it will allow:

  • Ukrainian patients – to buy, store and use medicines based on medical cannabis, and doctors – to prescribe them,
  • Businesses – to cultivate and grow medical cannabis on the territory of Ukraine and produce medicines from it, as well as transport and sell them on the territory of Ukraine, scientists – to study this plant, which will stimulate innovation in this area.

All this will take place under strict control:

  • to grow medical cannabis, you will need to obtain a police permit to use the premises and a special license,
  • conclude an agreement with a drug quality control testing laboratory or have a laboratory on its territory,
  • to provide access to the facilities of the National Police for the selection and examination of product samples.

The law will ensure the circulation of medical cannabis in Ukraine on the basis of accountability and transparency – marking of barcodes for each batch and units of packaged products is provided. An electronic register of the movement of hemp varieties and medicines will also be introduced, and medicines will be dispensed to patients only by electronic prescription. Patients will be able to store medicines based on medical cannabis in the amount not exceeding that allowed for one patient per prescription.

The full text of the bill is available on the website of the Verkhovna Rada at this link.

Olha Stefanyshina also points out the negative consequences of the adoption of the document: the maximum allowable content of tetrahydrocannabinol in hemp for industrial and medical purposes will be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. There are no guarantees that this will be at least 0.2, as it is in the EU. In the previous bill, of which she was a co-author, this percentage was written directly into the law.

It is important to understand that bill 7457 does not introduce free circulation of cannabis in the country. This will be a limited and state-controlled turnover for clearly defined three purposes – medical, industrial and scientific and technical. Also, this bill does not exempt from liability for the illicit trafficking of cannabis.

Registration of this bill by the Government of Ukraine is an important step that gives hope to many people who need this medicine – cancer patients, patients with epilepsy, as well as people with PTSD, which is extremely important in a war.

After the text of the bill is supported by the relevant committee of the Ukrainian parliament, the document must be voted on in two readings in the Ukrainian Parliament. Recall that this will be the third attempt by Ukraine to legalize medical cannabis. The two previous ones were not supported by parliamentarians.

Also in April 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution that gave access to several expensive cannabis-based drugs for Ukrainian patients, but did not solve the problem as a whole.

In the context of Ukraine obtaining the status of an EU candidate state, the adoption of such a law will help harmonize the regulatory framework of Ukraine with the European one and ensure the development of the scientific and medical potential for the use of cannabis in Ukraine.


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