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Cannabis in Poland

Country Profile

  • Population: 37.9 million
  • Number of cannabis users: 1.9 million
  • Ruling Government Party: Law and Justice
  • Party Stance on Cannabis: Supports medical access. Opposed to recreational legalisation.

Landscape and Policy:

Cannabis legislation in Poland has been moving towards decriminalisation since the early 2010s and enforcement has been increasingly relaxed throughout the last decade. Indeed, Sativex, a cannabis-based drug prescribed for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis spasticity, has been available to prescribe in Poland since December 2012.

Despite many promising legislative developments throughout the early 2010s, the most crucial legislative changes impacting Poland’s use of cannabis took placein 2017. In the summer of that year, Poland’s lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of making medical cannabis legal under certain circumstances, with a landslide 440 votes in favour, two votes opposed and one abstention.

This bill, which was far less restrictive than previous bills, was enacted in 2017 and meant doctors could begin to offer prescriptions for any condition that could be effectively treated by cannabis as suggested by research.

This new bill also meant that cannabis from imported plants could be processed at Polish pharmacies, provided it was registered with the country’s Office for Registration of Medical Products.

Yet, despite such supposed progress, cannabis-based medicinal products remained inaccessible for patients for around a year due to a lack of importation of the medicines. Eventually, Spectrum Cannabis managed to obtain consent to import CBMPs to Polish pharmacies, with their deliveries being completed on the 17th January 2019.

Manufacturing & importation

It should be noted that in Poland domestic and self-cultivation is still illegal, meaning that until restrictions change, perhaps over time, cannabis-based medicinal products will need to be imported from other countries.

However, for the time being, this unusual ruling means that Poland’s European neighbours will likely benefit from the increased demand of the country.

For instance, Aurora Deutschland GmbH’s shipment of medical cannabis into the country was believed to be the first time a non-government run business had been granted approval to supply medical cannabis products in Poland.

Applications

At the time of the announcement in 2017, it was estimated that up to 300,000 patients in Poland could qualify for treatment with medical cannabis, with treatable conditions including nausea caused by chemotherapy,epilepsy, symptoms of multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.

Prescribing

Prescriptions in Poland are currently valid for a maximum of 30 days from the date on which they are written. However, they are also valid from the date explicitly specified by the doctors, which enables them to prescribe drugs for therapy lasting up to a year.

Pharmacies can now process cannabis resins, tinctures, oils and concentrates as well as other non-herbal forms, with even dried flowers being available for sale.

Patient liabilities for medicinal cannabis

While possession of cannabis for recreational use (in small quantities) is now decriminalised in Poland, patients who are prescribed cannabis should nonetheless be counselled not to share their prescription with family members or friends and should be instructed to keep their medicinal cannabis in a secure location.

They should also be aware that selling on their medical cannabis is a criminal offence, and that if they run out of their medical cannabis supply they should get another prescription rather than resorting to using black marketc annabis as a substitute.

Summary

The 2017 legalisation of medical cannabis in Poland, after mounting debate in the country and a landslide vote in favour of the bill, made it the 12th country in Europe to make CBMPs available through national pharmacies.

Prescriptions for CBMPs are now available in the country, although prescriptions are limited to conditions where medical research suggests medicinal cannabis will be an effective treatment. Currently supported conditions include: MS, epilepsy and nausea from chemotherapy.

CBD and various hemp-derived consumables are also legal in Poland.

Further investigation and research into medicinal cannabis and alternative medical options is thoroughly encouraged by The Academy, particularly through the use of our own online coursesevidence base and whitepapers.

The rest of our resources are available on our website. We urge anyone considering use of medical cannabis products to consult with a trained medical professional prior to beginning use.

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