For 2020, the Luxembourg health authorities plan to purchase 270 kilograms of cannabis . Medical cannabis exclusively . The clarification comes from the Minister of Health. Paulette Lenert who, in a parliamentary response, recognizes that the tensions recorded on the drug market in recent months, deprived Luxembourg of an expected delivery. What to prevent the distribution of this anesthetic treatment last July.
And this is not the first time that such a mishap has happened. It is even the third , recognizes the minister in a letter addressed to the deputies Martine Hansen and Jean-Marie Halsdorf (CSV). In addition to the particular difficulties in these times of epidemic and planetary lockdown, Paulette Lenert recalls that the import of medical cannabis is subject to “complex procedures and sometimes long delays”. Not to mention that the medicinal plant must meet very specific quality criteria which sometimes limit its production.
It takes between three and four weeks to receive a new batch, and therefore allow the pharmacy of the Emile-Mayrish Hospital Center to ensure the distribution according to the established prescriptions. In order to avoid running out too often, the health authorities claim to have improved their organization . Digitization of the administrative circuit for the importation of narcotics, better monitoring of stocks and alarm thresholds thus make it possible to anticipate orders. In all cases, if there is a rupture, doctors and hospital pharmacists are informed of the temporary difficulty.
For the record, the use of medical cannabis has been legalized in the Grand Duchy since February 2019. And a first assessment of the experiment will be drawn in February 2021, assures the minister to the two opposition deputies. However, the dossier is subject to continuous monitoring “by a working group including members of the Ministry of Health as well as the health professionals concerned and a scientific committee”.
It is up to these specialists to note not only the evolution of the number of prescriptions, the products requested (flowers, oils, etc.) but also the type of patient beneficiaries , the quantities but also the modes of administration for example.
For the time being, the Minister of Health is not going back over the possibility of seeing Luxembourg produce, on its territory, the quantities expected in the medical context. Nor does the minister detail what happens to the announced decriminalization of recreational cannabis in the country. Paulette Lenert, however, reveals that the country is increasingly demanding .
If at the outset, the Grand Duchy had made a request to the International Steering Point Control Body for 183 kg, this threshold has been raised. To “meet the growing demand”, the country has received authorization to buy up to 270 kg of the recommended drug – in particular – in the treatment of pain or in the support of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.