Belgium considers creation of cannabis agency
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On 27 February 2019, the Belgian Parliamentary Health Committee adopted almost unanimously a resolution which facilitates the creation of a cannabis agency.
Such agency will enable and control the production of cannabis for medical purposes. As such, it will become possible to prescribe cannabis in Belgium to patients for whom mainstream medicines have proven to be of little use.
The cannabis agency will work under the auspices of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP). It will have full control over the production of medical cannabis and will supply authorisations to future plantations as well as have the monopoly on cannabis imports and exports to avoid that cannabis is used for illegal purposes.
With this initiative, Belgium seems to follow the example set by the Netherlands, which has an Office for Medicinal Cannabis since 2001. While the Parliament is yet to approve the resolution in a plenary session, this initiative is clearly a step in the direction of facilitating the use of medical cannabis in Belgium.
A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law - Life Sciences, March 2019 Issue (Thomson Reuters).