Connect with us


France hands out first medical cannabis prescription



Listen to this article

France has taken its first tentative steps towards overhauling its medicinal cannabis legislation.

A nationwide trial set to run over two years was launched on March 26, the first of its kind in the country.

The trial has been championed by French health minister Olivier Véran. The 40-year-old former neurologist, who has played a high-profile and often controversial role in France’s handling of Covid-19, is a proponent of reform.

On Friday he Tweeted that he was “proud” to see the scheme launch, claiming it was one of his “commitments as a doctor”. He promised the French people a “rigorous experiment”.

According to Véran, 215 centres across the country will be able to “prescribe and support some 3,000 patients with serious and painful pathologies”. The trial will be overseen by the French medicine agency (ANSM).

In a statement, he added: “It’s the role of medicine to fight disease and relieve pain. As a doctor, as a minister, I am proud that France can experiment with the use of cannabis for medical purposes, and thus better support thousands of patients who face serious pathologies.”

Initially, doctors will be authorised to treat five conditions, including sever drug-resistant epilepsy and “certain palliative situations”.

The first cannabis prescription in the country’s history was signed on Friday.

Therapeutic treatments will need to be imported into France as the cultivation of cannabis is prohibited by national legislation.