The French government signed a decree last month, bringing the country’s free medical cannabis program to life.
The French Minister of Solidarity and Health first announced the free cannabis program back in October, as part of a 3,000 person study into the clinical use of cannabis medications. The study will be one of France’s first medical cannabis clinical trials, and will provide legislators and doctors with an understanding of how patients respond to cannabis drugs.
According to the decree, patients will only be permitted into the free medical cannabis program if they have one of the following conditions:
- Particular types of drug-resistant epilepsy
- Neuropathic pain
- Untraceable symptoms linked to cancer or anticancer treatments.
- An illness requiring palliative care
- Spasticity problems from multiple sclerosis or similar pathology of the central nervous system
Patients will be treated with either vaped cannabis flower, capsules or oils for a period of two years. The first prescriptions are expected by the end of March 2021.
Following the signing of the decree, France’s Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) published the application requirements for cannabis companies supplying medical cannabis. As part of these guidelines, companies will need to supply free medicine that adheres to the country’s Good Manufacturing Practises, Good Agricultural Practices, and other European regulations.
France is only accepting imported cannabis and will select six participating companies: one for flower, capsules, and oil – and a backup for each. The guidelines also require cannabis companies to pay for the secure distribution of cannabis through local pharmacies.
While companies will not be able to profit off of France’s study, they will benefit in other ways. The minister was quoted as saying:
With hundreds of patients already treated and doctors used to prescribing their products, this is probably a marketing advantage.
The French government is accepting applications from pharmaceutical companies until November 24th. The government will also be assessing the quality of each medication with a sample.
To see a range of Australian companies that may submit samples, check out our cannabis company database.