15 May 2020 – On 11 May 2020, the Czech government approved a bill amending the Act on Addictive Substances (the "Bill"). The purpose of the Bill is to expand the possibilities for cultivating cannabis for medical use to a broader range of subjects, including natural persons, thus increasing its availability to Czech patients. The Bill would also enable the export of medical cannabis. If enacted into law, increased production will presumably lead to a fall in the price of cannabis for medical use.
The Bill creates a new licensing system, enabling entities or individuals to cultivate plant-based cannabis for medical use, provided that they obtain:
- a medical substance manufacturer certificate from the State Institute for Drug Control (the "Institute");
- a licence to cultivate cannabis for medical use issued by the Institute; and
- a permit for handling addictive substances issued by the Ministry of Health.
Once such medical cannabis is manufactured, it will be treated like any other regulated addictive substance – meaning it will be traded within established distribution systems, or will be exported abroad.
The Bill also introduces electronic prescriptions for certain medicinal products containing highly addictive substances, which will be labelled with a "highly addictive substance" designation.
If approved by the Parliament of the Czech Republic, the Bill will likely become law by mid-2021.
Originally published May 15, 2020.
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