Cyprus Mail

Patients say deprived of medical cannabis despite its legalisation

People were deprived of access to medical cannabis despite its legalisation, complained the Cyprus federation of patients association (Osak).

Organised patients have been fighting for years to legalise the use of medical cannabis and although a law approving its cultivation, introduction and use was passed in 2019, “the competent-incompetent authorities have not found a way to implement it” an Osak statement said.

Osak said the delay was unacceptable for patients who urgently needed medical cannabis for the management of health problems, such as chronic pain.

“Unfortunately, the legalisation of the use of medical cannabis in Cyprus essentially means absolutely nothing, since it is not available to patients,” Osak said, adding that the ministry of health is bogged down in regulating production which is a misguided approach, leaving hundreds of patients to suffer.

Osak called for cultivation and production of medical cannabis to finally be disconnected from dispensation saying the state was responsible to ensure a better quality of life for patients who needed it.

In 2020 parliament passed a bill to regulate the prescription, distribution, and availability of medical cannabis, which was voted into law with 42 votes in favour and seven against.

Amendments to the regulation were made aimed at minimising the risk of having the sector being taken over by the illegal drugs trade, and people abusing prescriptions.

According to the report submitted by the house health committee, the regulations set the standards for prescription of cannabis, based on medical scientific use of the drug.

The committee also reported it was disappointed with the delay in the health minister approving prescription of medical cannabis, forcing some patients to buy from drug dealers.


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