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Greece: MEP Stelios Kouloglou questions European Commission about patients' lack of access to cannabis

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Greek MEP Stelios Kouloglou. Photo: DR

Like Portugal, Greek patients also face difficulties in accessing treatments with medicinal cannabis and its derivatives. The fact that, over the last two years, patients in Greece have not had access to medicinal cannabis preparations, forcing them to resort to illegal channels for their supply, has now been brought to the attention of the European Commission (EC) by MEP Stelios Kouloglou.

Explaining that this situation is the result of Greek government regulations, which violate the fundamental principle of the free movement of goods and create conditions of unfair competition in the single market, the MEP asked the EC to clarify how it intends to address the issue. Kouloglou specifically asked about how the Commission intends to regulate the matter within the scope of a European legislative framework, which discourages the illegal market and which results in regulated quality, accurate labeling and which guarantees legal and safe access to patients.

Read below the full text and questions sent by Greek MEP, Stelios Kouloglou, to the EC.

“Violations of EU fundamental principles and the lack of a European framework for medicinal cannabis lead patients to the black market. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is universally accepted. The World Health Organization proposes prescribing it for a wide range of conditions and the European Parliament has called on European and national authorities to address the issue legislatively, fund research and innovation and provide information to healthcare professionals. Medical cannabis has been legalized in Greece since 2017, for the cultivation and production of products with a THC content greater than 0,3%, but patients. Currently, they do not have access to formulations and the few national investment sources have been slow to produce.
Furthermore, in November 2021, the Greek government banned the import of medicinal cannabis products, in violation of Article 28 of the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), creating oligopolistic conditions in the country. As a result, patients have been forced to turn to the illegal market to treat numerous health conditions.

We call on the Commission:
1 – How does the Commission intend to address the shortage of medicinal cannabis products for patients, which has been created due to regulations that violate the fundamental principle of the free movement of goods and that create conditions of unfair competition in the unified market?
2 – Does the Commission intend to regulate the issue comprehensively within the scope of a European legislative framework that effectively limits the black market, regulates quality and accurate labeling and guarantees legal and safe access to medicines for medicinal use?”

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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