The health commission of the Assembly of Polynesia must meet very soon to examine the project of legalization of medical cannabis in Polynesia
The bill, which you can view here, provides for an overhaul of the 1978 regulations on “the import, export, purchase, sale, possession and use of poisonous substances”.
Currently, the principle is that of a general ban on all use of cannabis or its derivatives with fenua, the only derogation being for research
“Revision of the regulations is necessary”puts in the preamble the explanatory memorandum to the text, which quotes in particular the “advances in medical research” or the recognition of “therapeutic potential of cannabis” by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in December 2020.
The text therefore provides for changes to the current regulations in order to be able to “authorize the therapeutic use of cannabis in the form of a drug which must comply with the regulations relating to drugs in force in French Polynesia”but also “authorize the agricultural production of cannabis and hemp for industrial purposes, in particular pharmaceutical, under strict control and within the framework of regulations in accordance with the single international convention on narcotic drugs of 1961”.
Legally, the principle remains that of a “general prohibition of any operation relating to cannabis”but with exceptions provided for by law and subject to an authorization regime for therapeutic cannabis and hemp, in the same way as in mainland France.
For hemp, defined as a plant with less than 0.3% THC, cultivation in Polynesia will be “authorized” and intended for any non-medical product containing no more than 0.3% THC (food products from seeds and wellness products). The text already provides for being able to change the THC level of plants in the field, up to 1% THC.
The cultivation of cannabis with more than 0.3% THC will be exclusively reserved for “manufacture of drugs in accordance with local regulations and massage products for therapeutic use” and the export of medical cannabis.
Local patient associations have been calling for the regulation of therapeutic cannabis in Polynesia for many years. In a video posted on Facebook, Philippe Cathelain, from the Polynesian Hemp Syndicate and Karl Anihia, president of the Tahiti Herb Culture (THC) association, share their satisfaction for this first regulatory step.
“It’s a great satisfaction, it’s the culmination of a project that we’ve been asking for for 2 years already, when we started discussing with the Ministry of Health. But above all it responds to an urgent need of a part of our population wishing to access cannabis-based medicines for various pathologies. »