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Spain: Congress of Deputies approves medical cannabis law



Photo: Daniel Prado @ Unsplash

The Spanish Congress of Deputies approved this week the regulation of medical cannabis. The report that was voted on in the subcommittee had the votes in favor of the Unidas Podemos, PSOE, Cs, PNV and PDeCat, the abstention of the ERC and Bildu and the votes against of the PP and Vox. The Spanish Medicines Agency now has six months to frame the recommendations in the current regulations, with which therapeutic cannabis will begin to be distributed in Spain by the end of the year.

Carola Perez, president of the Spanish Medical Cannabis Observatory, told Cannareporter that she was “exhausted but happy” with this first step in regulation. “We fought until the last minute to include as many therapeutic indications as possible. The model can be improved, of course. We will not rest until everyone has proper access to this plant,” she confessed.

As in Portugal, medicinal cannabis in Spain has been approved for certain types of pathologies, such as cancer pain, neuropathy, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or endometriosis, always with a medical prescription and dispensed at a pharmacy.

If approved next week by the Congressional Health Commission and later ratified by the Spanish government, the regulation will also open the possibility of extending the use of cannabis to other therapeutic indications, when studies provide consistent indications.

It is estimated that there are at least 300 people who could benefit from using medical cannabis in Spain. More than 80% of Spaniards are in favor of the therapeutic use of cannabis, according to the Centro de Investigación Sociológica, an official government body.

In September 2021, the Spanish Ministry of Health had already authorized the marketing of the first cannabidiol-based drug (CBD) in the country, Epidiolex, by GW Pharmaceuticals, for the treatment of crises associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (SLG) and to Dravet syndrome (DS).

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