Switzerland Removes Medical Marijuana Access Limitations As Demand Rises

The Swiss government confirmed that it will remove limitations on medical marijuana use, starting August 1st, 2022.

Medical marijuana patients are required to seek exceptional authorization from the health ministry to get medical cannabis prescriptions, which causes needless delays. Starting in August, the decision to use a cannabis-based medicine for therapeutic purposes will be taken by the physician in consultation with the patient, reported Leafie.

The country’s parliament previously agreed on an amendment to the law in March 2021 to enhance access to medical marijuana, aiming to “facilitate access to cannabis for medical use for patients.” According to the Federal Office of Public Health, new rules should benefit thousands of patients, some suffering from cancer or multiple sclerosis, who deal with chronic pain daily. It turns out that the demand for medical marijuana treatments has boomed in Switzerland recently. In 2019 alone, the health ministry issued 3,000 exceptional permissions.

At the moment in Switzerland only licensed medical marijuana products containing less than 1% THC, such as Jazz Pharma’s JAZZ Sativex.

“Switzerland has taken another important step in improving patients’ access to cannabis by giving doctors the freedom to prescribe cannabis as a medicine, Much like Germany did in 2019, removing onerous restrictions on prescribing cannabis is sweeping the European landscape,” Mike Sassano, founder, chairman & CEO of Somai Pharmaceuticals told Leafie. “Switzerland is taking a realistic approach to help people get properly regulated medicines and combat needing to seek out the unregulated black market cannabis products. This is a stark contrast to the UK market, which requires you to try two different therapies before the doctor can prescribe cannabis or other countries like Ireland that require you to have extremely serious ailments like stage 3 cancer or MS before receiving cannabis.”

Recent Cannabis Developments In Switzerland

In May 2021, an amendment to the Federal Narcotics Act came into force in Switzerland, allowing pilot trials involving the dispensing of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes. These trials are intended to create the basis for future legal regulation and will include 5,000 registered participants, who have come to the federal government they already have been consuming cannabis.

In April 2022, Swiss authorities green-lighted a pilot project under which a few hundred people in the city of Basel will be allowed to buy cannabis from pharmacies for recreational purposes.

The same month, Schlosshotel Zermattthe first CBD Spa in Europe was inaugurated at the foot of the Matterhorn Mountain (famous for its ski resorts and for being the logo of the Toblerone chocolate brand) in the Swiss Alps.

Photo: Courtesy of Tim Trad on Unsplash

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