Iceland: proposed pilot project could permit use of medical cannabis

Cannabis Health News Reports

A four-year pilot project, which would permit the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Iceland, has been proposed by policymakers.

Following a debate in Alþingi [Icelandic parliament] last week, officials have proposed a four-year pilot project to permit the use of medical cannabis, as well as the cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis-based products for medicinal use. 

If approved, the Ministry of Health will work with the Minister of Culture and Trade to establish a working group to prepare a bill allowing companies to apply for licences to produce and distribute cannabis medicines. 

The bill would need to be presented by the ministry by 31st December with the four-year pilot programme expected to begin on 1 January, 2024.

Currently the only cannabis-based medicine which can be legally prescribed in Iceland is Sativex, which contains isolated forms of CBD and THC and is used as a treatment for spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and muscle dystrophy. However, access to Sativex is strictly regulated and can only be prescribed by licensed neurologists.  

CBD products are legal in Iceland, providing they are THC-free. 

Pilot could follow Denmark’s medical cannabis model

According to documents published by Alþingi, the project will take a similar form to the model which was established in Denmark in 2018 with the aims of improving knowledge on the effects of cannabinoids, while preventing patients from having to access cannabis products illegally. 

The Danish project was divided into two parts, including a plan to allow for the cultivation of Cannabis sativa in order to extract and produce medicines, alongside an experiment to look at the use of substances from the plant for medicinal purposes. 

Iceland: proposed pilot project could permit use of medical cannabis

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