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Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

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Spain’s medical cannabis subcommittee holds first meeting

The parliamentary group has until May 20 to submit a report to inform future policy

Spain's medical cannabis subcommittee holds first meeting
Image via Congreso de los Diputados (Congress of Deputies of Spain)

Spain’s medical cannabis subcommittee formally met for the first time this week. The group’s activities could lead to regulations the country’s industry is missing.

The subcommittee of the lower house of parliament held the session on Wednesday, with the objective of organizing the work ahead. It’s been tasked with studying existing medical cannabis programs, and hearing from experts to create an international comparison report to help inform future policy. The group will also determine which diseases can be treated with cannabis.

The report has a headline of May 20.

Certain medical cannabis products are currently allowed, but there are grey areas in Spain’s rules around weed that results in thousands of patients turning to illicit sources or patient associations, according to reports.

“Patients are very expectant, very nervous about what will be decided, wanting this to come out,” says Carola Pérez, president of Observatorio Español de Cannabis Medicinal, an organization of researchers and patients.

The committee consists of 15 politicians from nine political parties.

In a tweet Wednesday, the OEDCM said, “It is reasonable to expect that this analysis will lead to a proposal for the regulation of medical cannabis.”

The subcommittee was officially formed in October, but hadn’t formally met until February despite the May deadline.

The report the group creates will be submitted to the Committee of Health and Consumer Affairs. If accepted, it will be sent to Congress for debate and final approval.

The health and consumer affairs group is a permanent legislative committee, so its decisions and reports are binding and mandatory, according to Barcelona-based lawyer Nadja Vietz.

“Given the nature of the report, its content is most likely to mould the future regulation of cannabis for medical use in Spain. This presents a unique opportunity to provide patients in Spain with the same access that thousands of cannabis patients already enjoy in neighbouring countries,” she continues.

However, Vietz notes it’s possible the subcommittee could complete its mandate without a clear decision, or recommend limiting medical cannabis to CBD and CBD-derived products, or it could lead to completely legalizing cannabis. The latter, she says, seems “very unlikely given the current political climate.”

A bill to legalize recreational cannabis use was rejected late last year, which may signal where other adult-use legislation may end up.

Read more: Spain presented with 3 bills to regulate adult-use cannabis

According to a survey conducted by public research organization Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, about 50 per cent of respondents supported legalization compared to 41 per cent against it.

Legalizing cannabis for medical use had 90-per-cent support.

 

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