Hopes that France might legalise medicinal cannabis after its current trial of the medicine ends next year have been dealt a blow after it emerged the Macron government will not support the move.
Newsweed reports the forthcoming Social Security Financing Bill will not include a budget to legalise medicinal cannabis, the dispensing of which is currently limited to those taking part in a trial being conducted by the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products.
The trial, which began a two-year cycle in 2021 before being extended by 12 months, enables 2,000 patients to access medicinal cannabis through select pharmacies – for five approved conditions – in order to evaluate how products could be prescribed and dispensed legally in the country.
It is now due to complete in March 2024.
A government report to parliament in September 2022 supported the widespread provision of medicinal cannabis, but found GPs had too little involvement in the treatment process. No issues of abuse or diversion were reported.
According to Cannabis Health News, 91% of patients in the trial favour general legalisation, with the majority reporting positive outcomes in terms of symptom management, particularly for pain relief and palliative care.
The country’s General Directorate of Health did not respond to questions from Newsweed about the reasons for the absence of medicinal cannabis legalisation in the budget.
However, other sources have blamed opposition from The Interministerial Mission for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviours.