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A worker at a company producing medical cannabis in Germany. Reuters
Process to regulate medicinal cannabis use in Spain is under way
Health

Process to regulate medicinal cannabis use in Spain is under way

The Ministry of Health has that the pharmacological use of the plant will be based on "the best scientific evidence", and it will benefit cancer patients amongst others

Álvaro Soto

Madrid

Wednesday, 14 February 2024, 15:49

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The Ministry of Health has begun the process to approve the medicinal use of cannabis in Spain. Mónica García's department has opened the Royal Decree for public consultation that will establish the regulation of the plant for its therapeutic use, and members of the public can contribute their views via the ministry’s website.

The Health department stressed that the medical cannabis regulation will be based on "the best scientific evidence available". It anticipates that periodic evaluations of the legislation will be undertaken and that the regulation will be sufficiently flexible so that it can be extended at a later date.

Cancer patients

The regulation of cannabis for medicinal purposes was a decision long demanded by cancer patients, among others in ill-health. Until now, only patients with epilepsy, spasticity, or multiple sclerosis could use drugs containing cannabis.

The legislative process had become bogged down during the last legislature. The regulation was stalled until Mónica García took office as minister, when she announced her intention to give it the green light as rapidly as possible.

Her aim is that cancer patients, along with patients with multiple sclerosis, some forms of epilepsy and those suffering from nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, endometriosis, cancer pain and chronic non-cancer pain (including neuropathic pain) can also receive treatment with medical cannabis.

A Health department subcommittee report in June 2022 endorsed the use of extracts or standardised preparations of cannabis and advised that only doctors, both in public and private healthcare, would be in charge of prescribing cannabis. In addition, the authors of the text advised that it should be dispensed in hospital pharmacies and health centres, although they opened the door to the possibility that it could also be done in regular pharmacies.

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