Patient group, “Cyprus Federation of Patients and Friends,” expressed its satisfaction over the passing of a law which legalises the medical use of cannabis.
“This new legislation is balsam to many patients, as they will be able to have access to medicinal cannabis with a doctor’s prescription in order to manager their health problems,” the group said in an announcement.
It also said that the legislation will be beneficial to medical research and will create new jobs.
On Friday, the House of Representatives voted by majority to legalise 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 will allow the cultivation, importation, possession and use of medical cannabis.
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.
The amendment also permits the import and export of medical cannabis as well as its use for medical research and for the preparation of galenical (plant-based) pharmaceuticals for medical use.
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. The producer fee was set at €500,000 and €30,000 annual registration fees.
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.