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Ukrainian Health Ministry Backs Medical Cannabis Bill

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In recent days the Ukrainian Health Ministry expressed its support for backing a medical cannabis bill originally proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The recent endorsement from the nation’s Health Ministry provides a much-needed boost for Ukrainian medical cannabis policy modernization efforts, which have languished in recent years.

According to international reporting, Deputy Health Minister Ihor Kuzin announced support for President Zelenskyy’s plan to legalize cannabis-based medicines in some instances late last week.

“The health ministry supports this legislative initiative. Drugs in healthcare are used to treat chronic pain … A large number of countries have already made changes in their legislation. They have recognized it and use it for treatment purposes,” Kuzin stated according to UrduPoint Network (translated to English).

President Zelenskyy pledged to reform Ukraine’s medical cannabis policies during his 2019 presidential campaign, although a measure failed to gain enough votes in 2021. The Ukrainian cabinet later endorsed President Zelenskyy’s effort to permit cannabis cultivation for medical use and scientific research purposes in June 2022.

What the Ukrainian cabinet approved was a draft law, and in order for the measure to be officially adopted it will still require approval by Ukraine’s Parliament. Roughly two weeks ago, President Zelenskyy made an additional call to action.

“In particular, we must finally fairly legalize cannabis-based medicines for all those who need them, with appropriate scientific research and controlled Ukrainian production,” Zelenskyy said, as Ukrainska Pravda first reported.

A growing number of countries around the world are modernizing their cannabis policies, with medical cannabis reform being particularly widespread now. Compared to other nations with medical cannabis programs in operation, what is being proposed in Ukraine is fairly limited.