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Switzerland Pursues Cannabis Reform




Switzerland officials are hoping to make it easier for medical cannabis patients to get access to the plant they need. On June 26, a proposal was made to allow medical cannabis prescriptions for people who suffer from serious conditions such as cancer.

This new proposal is separate from the recreational cannabis movement in Switzerland that would allow some cities to experiment with a legal system. “The proposal makes it possible for doctors to directly prescribe cannabis as part of their treatment,” the Swiss cabinet said in a statement. “Growing and processing medical cannabis as well as its sale would then be possible under a system regulated” by Swissmedic, the country’s drug regulatory agency.

The comment period for this new ruling will remain open until mid-October. Many are concerned with how cannabis insurance will work under this new system. “The biggest obstacle to automatic reimbursement is that the scientific evidence of efficacy is not yet sufficient and the conclusions of existing studies are sometimes contradictory,” the government stated. 

Switzerland claimed they are interested in legalizing cannabis because of the rise in patients using cannabis to treat serious medical conditions. Federal authorities granted about 3,000 exceptions for people to use medical cannabis last year.

If Switzerland does start importing in medical cannabis, it will likely be Tilray, the company supplying medical cannabis to other countries in Europe. While the country may not be as ahead of the legalization game as some of its European counterparts, they’ve been discussing the possibility of legalizing medical cannabis for quite some time. They also have plans in the work to legalize and tax cannabis. 

If Switzerland officials pass this new law, medical cannabis will be available to a lot more citizens within its borders. It could also be a precursor to a more opportunities for legal cannabis access in the country.