Spain to Legalize Medical Cannabis Sales This Year

The new draft bill proposes selling medicinal buds and cannabis-derived drugs through existing pharmacies.
22 June 2022
2 min read
Spain to Legalize Medical Cannabis Sales This Year

Spain is likely to join the growing list of countries that treat cannabis as medicine and allow the drug to be sold to patients with certain conditions. The initiative to create a legal and regulated market has moved out of a congressional subcommittee and is expected to be approved by the Health Commission on Thursday. After this final vote, it will be up to the Spanish Medicines Agency to draw up regulations and set up a system for the legal sales of the drug through pharmacies within the next six months.

The country has one of the world’s most lax cannabis policies, with Barcelona – and not Amsterdam – emerging as Europe’s new weed capital. However, the laws trail behind the lenient attitude of the Spanish society toward the drug, and there’s a need for a more robust regulatory framework.

The List of Conditions is Limited but Can be Extended

It’s not yet clear what type of doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis medicine to their patients and whether other therapeutic options will have to be exhausted first. However, the draft bill clearly states which conditions are eligible to be treated with cannabis pharmaceuticals. They include pain management in cancer and non-cancer patients, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis, as well as endometriosis and some forms of epilepsy.

The bill suggests that as long as there’s scientific evidence to support the claim, other indications can be added to this list.


Spain to Legalize Medical Cannabis Sales This Year: A young woman in denim an khaki shirt sitting on a curb with an unlit joint in hand

Spain is very tolerant of cannabis use which is ubiquitous.

A Broad Political Support for the Reform

According to Carola Pérez, the president of the Spanish Observatory for Medicinal Cannabis and founder of the patient association dosemociones, the authors of the initiative had to struggle for every clause and every medical condition to be included in the final draft. However, the support for the reform is undeniable and includes backing from most parties except for right-leaning PP and Vox.

Campaigners and activists see the move as a sign of impending further liberalization of cannabis laws in Spain. However, the bill highlights the need for safeguards that will prevent cannabis medicine from seeping into the black market and increasing the use of the drug by the healthy part of the population.

 

22 June 2022