Netherlands – Information: NCSM – Dutch Association for Legal Cannabis and its Constituents as Medicine

What is the NCSM

The NCSM is a knowledge platform and discussion forum on the medicinal use of cannabis. It was founded in February 2008, as a response to the positive developments of the Dutch medicinal cannabis program. It is an independent non-profit organization, and is able to perform its activities through the financial support of sponsors.

The NCSM works only with professionals in the field of medicinal cannabis. The board consists of a criminologist, a pharmacist and a pharmaceutical researcher. An independent board of supervisors oversees the activities of the NCSM and ensures that it is, and remains, a reliable source of information on the medicinal use of cannabis. The information on this website has been approved by the Dutch Health department.

Our mission

The mission of the NCSM is to improve the acceptance of medicinal cannabis. This will be achieved from within the framework of pharmaceutical research, through dialogue and using a science-based approach. At the same time there is a clear intention to listen to patients and those taking care of them.

As our name indicates, we want to bring together a wide range of people and organizations (association), working with cannabis, as well as its pure pharmaceutical components (cannabis and its constituents), in conformity with the Dutch medicinal cannabis program (legal).

The main goals of the NCSM are:

1.    Collect information on medicinal cannabis

NCSM aims to be the most reliable and complete source of information in the Netherlands on the medicinal use of cannabis. However, the general discussion on cannabis is often confused by prejudice and misconceptions. We therefore base our opinion as much as possible on scientifically verifiable facts. But also ‘non-scientific’ knowledge and experiences of patients, physicians and care-takers can be valuable for our understanding of medicinal cannabis use. NCSM wants to keep the door open to such information, so we can learn from the experienced user as well as the scientist. Our contacts with a network of professionals help us to separate fiction from fact in the complex field of medicinal cannabis.

In some cases, the knowledge we need may not yet be available. Then, new research has to be initiated. NCSM is actively involved in setting up new studies, as in quality control of medicinal cannabis, or the use of the Volcano vaporizer as an accepted administration form. The NCSM is very interested in developments on medicinal cannabis worldwide, and will visit conferences and symposia around the world. On our website we will regularly report on our experiences.

2.    Distribute knowledge and raise awareness

By providing accurate and up-to-date information on medicinal cannabis, we want to raise awareness in society and increase the acceptance of its use in medical practice. Our website shows the details behind the world of medicinal cannabis, and provides the answers to the most frequently asked questions. More detailed information on a variety of topics is available by following the links and references to literature present on the web-pages.

We aim at answering every question in a clear and practical manner, supported by scientific evidence. If our written information can not help you (website, brochures, publications), you can always contact us directly, and we will connect you with one of the professionals in our network. NCSM is also willing to give presentations or organize workshops, e.g. for patient-lobbygroups, physicians or insurance companies.

The information we provide is roughly aimed at two different levels: the amateur level (e.g. patients) and the professional level (e.g. doctors, researchers). In the latter case, professional terms may be used, and studies will be presented in their original form. Information intended for patients will be presented in a simple and clear form.

3.    Create networks and stimulate rational dialogue

The use of cannabis as medicine is still a controversial topic. Therefore it is important to be well-informed on current developments when entering upon discussion and dialogue. However, this is often not the case, as is probably most clear in political discussions. Also physicians and pharmacists are hard to convince of the use and applications of medicinal cannabis, even when scientific evidence is presented. For an open and rational dialogue it is important to be ready to listen to each other, and to cooperate.

NCSM is engaged in continuous dialogue with all those involved in the supply and use of medicinal cannabis in the Netherlands, and is open for discussion with new partners. We work with individuals and organizations abroad to make sure we keep well informed on new developments that may be useful for the Dutch situation. We plan to organize a symposium every 2 years, to bring the topic of medicinal cannabis under the attention of the general public. Through our practical as well as our scientific approach we aim to make cannabis an accepted part of modern medicine.

The production chain

Dutch medicinal cannabis is produced, from plant to product, by the following partners:

Office of Medicinal Cannabis (Supervision of the program)

Bedrocan BV (Production of medicinal cannabis)

Isotron BV (Sterilization)

Farmalyse BV (Chemical analysis/Quality control)

Bactimm BV (Microbiological quality control)

Fagron BV (Packaging and distribution)

Wholesale pharmacies

A few Dutch pharmacies buy medicinal cannabis in bulk, which lowers the price for the patient. Your order may be delievered y express-mail.

Apotheek Hanzeplein
Located in the city of Groningen

Apotheek Maasbracht
Located in Maasbracht, Limburg

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