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Medical Cannabis Trial In France To Receive Extension

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France’s current 2,540 registered medical cannabis patients received good news in recent days via comments made by the nation’s Minister for Health Aurélien Rousseau. Minister Rousseau reportedly indicated that his nation’s medical cannabis experiment will receive an extension.

France’s government recently indicated that it would refrain from recommending national medical cannabis legalization after the European nation’s medical cannabis experiment was over. The recently announced extension provides some reassurance to registered patients, albeit only temporarily.

In March 2021, France launched a limited medical cannabis experiment involving between 2,000 and 3,000 suffering patients with the goal of gaining insight to possibly craft national medical cannabis policies and regulations.

The French medical cannabis experiment received initial approval from the federal Senate back in 2019, however, the launch of the trial was delayed until the spring of 2021 due to various reasons. Cannabis producer LaFleur was eventually selected as the cultivator for the program and has supplied participating patients since the launch of the experiment.

Initially slated for a two-year period, France’s medical cannabis experiment was eventually granted a one-year extension and was set to end in 2024. The program is now expected to end in 2025. Per Business of Cannabis:

Despite pressure from cross-party parliamentarians, elected officials, scientists and doctors, Mr Rousseau refused to commit to rolling medical cannabis out generally across France this year.

The minister suggested that the lack of commitment to a fully fledged medical cannabis programme was due to a lack of ‘European marketing authorisation’, which he suggested could be ready by 2025.

Medical cannabis is becoming more common in Europe, with no less than 17 European Union member nations having passed a national medical cannabis measure. Just as other nations have modernized their medical cannabis policies to help more suffering patients, nothing is stopping France from doing the same aside from stigma and special interests.

France has one of the largest cannabis consumption rates on the European continent with an estimated 10.6% of adults having consumed cannabis at least one time in the last year according to recent survey data. It’s unclear how many of those adults were using cannabis for medical purposes.