March 2021, that’s the date set for the beginning of France’s first medical marijuana trial.
The trial, backed unanimously by the decision of the senate, will last for two years. It attempts to study the effects of cannabis in 3,000 extreme cases where mainstream medications have failed.
Criticism of French Government
There has long been criticism of the French government for its position on cannabis. Until 2018, someone caught in possession of cannabis could face a fine of up to €3,750 as well as up to one year in prison.
This new study was meant to begin earlier but was delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Who is eligible?
The project will be the responsibility of the French Ministry of Health and Solidarity along with the French Health Association (ANSM). They will decide key details such as the eligible medical conditions for the trial and the form the cannabis will come in.
There will be mandatory training for doctors and pharmacies throughout France, however, their participation in the program is on a voluntary basis only.
The ANSM believes that cannabis should be used for palliative care as well as reducing pain and controlling epileptic seizures. It’s likely that the cannabis products issued during the trial will be topical oils or capsules however no decision has been made as yet. This along with other key budgetary details are still to be decided.
While nothing is definitive yet it is hoped that more countries will follow in this manner, hosting their own trials. In ten years, it is hoped that medical cannabis will become a mainstream treatment itself.