MPs invited by a Swedish medical cannabis company to visit their facilities in Zurich were forbidden to go by House president Demetris Syllouris on Thursday,on the grounds the trip may influence their vote on the upcoming medical cannabis bill.
The invitation for the all-expenses-paid trip to Zurich on November 19-21 was sent to the House health committee, which is deliberating the bill seeking to allow the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis. The bill is due before the House plenum for a vote by the beginning of December at the latest.
According to media reports, the specific Swedish company is interested in obtaining one of the two licences, valid for 15 years, included in the bill for the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis in Cyprus, and to invest in cultivation facilities, should the bill be approved by the plenum.
In view of this, Syllouris forbade the MPs to take the trip to Zurich, as it may influence their judgement in the upcoming voting, especially since the trip is just a few days prior.
On Wednesday, the ethics committee, in the presence of Syllouris, decided that new and tougher laws aiming at greater transparency over MPs possible conflicts of interest will be drawn up.
Medicinal cannabis is expected to be given on prescription to patients suffering from chronic painful conditions associated with cancer, HIV, degenerative diseases of the motor system, rheumatic diseases, neuropathy and glaucoma, among others. It will also be given to patients suffering from Tourette’s syndrome and Crohn’s disease (ulcerative colitis).