Cabinet on Wednesday approved the establishment of a coordinating committee that will evaluate applications to produce medical cannabis, the Cyprus News Agency said.
Wednesday’s decision comes months after the House of Representatives legalised medical cannabis, opening up a potentially lucrative new sector while satisfying growing calls for legalisation, not least from the medical community.
The amendment to the law on narcotics and psychotropic substances approved on February 15 will allow the cultivation, importation, possession and use of medical cannabis.
The new committee will be charged to evaluate those individuals who express an interest to secure a licence.
The decision is another step in implementing the relevant legislation, while promoting research and development in Cyprus, and attracting foreign investments to the country with multiple benefits to the Cyprus economy, an official announcement said.
The law will licence only three producers, at least for the first 15 years, with the aim of attracting financially robust companies with experience in the cultivation and production of medical cannabis.
This limited number of licences is intended to act as an incentive for companies that choose to invest in Cyprus but also facilitate checks to ensure that medical cannabis does not end up on the illegal market or is used illegally.
Medical cannabis will be administered with a prescription to patients suffering from chronic and persistent pain that among other are linked to cancer, HIV, mobility problems, rheumatism, kidney problems and glaucoma. It will also be available for those suffering from Tourette’s syndrome or Chron’s disease.