Their latest update
by Johnny Green, International Conferences Group / ICBC
Fortunately, the truth about the cannabis plant and its wellness properties could not be contained forever. Activists across the planet worked extremely hard to cut through the propaganda and get the facts out to society regarding medical cannabis.
Myth after myth was debunked. As public awareness about medical cannabis spread, so too did cannabis reform victories and compassion and healing as patients started to gain safe access to medical cannabis.
Few if any medications are as dynamic as cannabis-based medicines. As tens of thousands of peer-reviewed studies have found, the cannabis plant can be used to successfully treat a number of conditions. Those studies are also backed up by the personal experiences and testimonials of countless patients.
Medical cannabis is now, thankfully, being embraced by more and more countries throughout the world, including and especially in Europe. The medical cannabis industry is booming on the European continent, with domestic markets ramping up, as well as imports and exports.
With that being said, Europe’s medical cannabis industry is still in its infancy by many measures. As of right now, policies across the continent are a bit of a patchwork of sorts and there is not a balanced framework in place for medical cannabis products like there is with other legal medicines.
Getting the right Europe-wide medical cannabis framework of policies, rules, and regulations in place is vital to the future success of Europe’s medical cannabis industry. Europe is home to roughly 750 million people, many of which will benefit from safe access to medical cannabis. Those suffering patients deserve to have a medical cannabis industry that helps them as much as possible, and that will only happen if entrepreneurs are operating in a business environment that is conducive to helping them succeed.
That’s where the European Cannabis Association (ECA) comes in. ECA recently launched and will focus on consulting and helping European lawmakers and regulators craft standards for the production of medicinal cannabis, among other things.
“The use of medical cannabis has a very high potential and it has become one of the most important economic topics in recent years. Nevertheless, there is still no harmonized regulatory framework that governs the trade in medical cannabis at the EU level.” stated ECA member Peter Homberg. Homberg is the Head of German Life Sciences Practice at Dentons, as well as Head of the European Cannabis Sector Group at Dentons.
“The ECA addresses exactly this area and offers support in consulting and developing uniform standards for the production of medical cannabis. In particular, the ECA informs its members about the current EU framework conditions in the field of medical cannabis, stays in contact with and influences on policymakers and regulatory bodies with the aim of achieving appropriate framework conditions in particular on a European level, represents the European medical cannabis industry in an international environment, develops and supports international networks and organizes and realizes industry conferences.” Homberg went on to say.
Getting the right medical cannabis framework in place in Europe is vital because it will steer the young industry well into the future. Initial rules and regulations will inevitably change, however, those changes will presumably be incremental and a future complete overhaul will be unlikely. Lawmakers and regulators need to get it right the first time.
A collective industry voice will be key to the ongoing regulatory framework process. Cannabis opponents and uneducated skeptics will no doubt have a seat at any regulatory table, and they will certainly have collective voices lobbying all over Europe. That lobby presence has to be met with a credible collective voice representing the medical cannabis industry.
Membership to the European Cannabis Association is open to all stakeholders in the medical cannabis industry, whether they are large companies or small and medium-sized enterprises, including start-ups. Interested parties can find out more, including how to join ECA, at EuropeanCannabisAssociation.com.
This is what they say in their About Us section of their website
The use of medical cannabis has a very high potential – both therapeutically and economically – and it has become one of the most important economic topics in recent years. More and more countries, also in Europe, not only allow the cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes, but also actively promote it. But, what makes this topic so relevant, and why is it so essential to found a European association?
What can be seen behind the strategies and approaches for the production of medicinal cannabis is not conducive to the “enormous” pharmaceutical potential. The delta between potential and lived production practice is enormous and is further negatively reinforced by heterogeneous regulatory requirements. Throughout the last years, we confront such a complex and confusing market, that even with our experience of six years in the area of medicinal cannabis it is challenging to maintain a balanced overview.
The potential and hope for a sustainable “green” miracle substance does not only inspire investors. It is going to be a walk on a tightrope to balance the conflicting goals of stakeholders and the resulting demand for a strong European cannabis association (ECA).
The ECA wants to address exactly this area and offer support in the areas of consulting and development of standards for the production of medicinal cannabis.
However, this brings with it a number of challenges which have to be addressed by the companies themselves as well as at a regulatory level:
- Strongly fluctuating product qualities, caused by insufficient standardization and specifications for reproducible processes
- Lack of consideration of essential standards and scientific approaches already in early planning phases
- Non-compliance with the principles of good manufacturing practice based on the current state of science and technology (cGxP)
- Risk that companies may not be able to produce or place the harvest on the market despite the issue of a cultivation license.
- We inform our members about the current framework conditions in the field of medical cannabis.
- We stay in contact with and influence on policy makers and regulatory bodies with the aim of achieving appropriate framework conditions.
- We represent the European medical cannabis industry in an international environment.
- We develop and support international networks.
- We organize and realize industry conferences.
WHO CAN BECOME A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN CANNABIS ASSOCIATION?
In principle, ECA membership is open to all stakeholders along the medical cannabis value chain, whether they are large industries or small and medium-sized enterprises, including start-ups. These include in particular
– Producers, processors and distributors
– Equipment manufacturers and other suppliers
– Consultants, lawyers and investors