A few months before the hoped-for entry into common law for cannabis for medical use in France, Santé France Cannabis (SFC), which represents companies in the sector, wanted to make several proposals for the development of the sector. At the same time, a bill which must regulate all activities, from the manufacture to the dispensing of cannabis-based medicines, is being carried by the deputy Ludovic Mendès and is about to be tabled in the National Assembly.
“Access to medical cannabis can no longer be considered an option today, but rather an urgent necessity,” writes Frantz Deschamps, President of SFC, in the preamble. After an extended experiment, the pressure group recalls that two decrees are still missing to complete the decree which authorizes the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes in France and the production of cannabis-based medicines:
- An order from the Minister for Health, which will specify the specifications of cannabis-based medicinal products for medical use
- An inter-ministerial decree issued by the ministers responsible for agriculture, customs, the interior and health, which will provide for the technical methods of holding, growing, importing, exporting, transporting and storing the cannabis plant for medical purposes in the national territory
On April 21, the Directorate General for Health (DGS) presented the guidelines adopted for the status of cannabis-based medicines. The choice is oriented towards a status ad hoc for these medicines, allowing personalized care and an adequate level of traceability and quality.
It is in this context that SFC presented 16 recommendations for a French medical cannabis sector.
Among them, we obviously find the need to make rapid progress on the definition of the status ad hocwhich has been awaited for 3 years, while paying attention to “calibrate it for cannabis drugs“.
Regarding the therapeutic indications, the union would like to start with the 5 already included in the experiment (epilepsy, cancer, neuropathic pain, palliative care and spasticity) then extend them according to the evidence provided and based on the work of a Scientific Committee (ANSM) and the High Authority for Health (HAS) to meet the needs of patients”.
On the subject of prescription, two proposals are made: provide for the introduction of compulsory training for first-time prescriber health professionals and provide that any doctor, whether specialist or general, can prescribe cannabis-based medicines.
Regarding culture, the union recommends coexisting two models of authorization, namely preliminary contractualization with authorized establishments and an authorization system issued under the control of the ANSM. It also asks not to impose the obligation to install a mechanical ventilation and filtration system, to leave the possibility to hybrid greenhouses to opt for natural ventilation. To our knowledge, at least one member of SFC has this type of equipment.
Finally, SFC recommends authorizing the export of medical cannabis, which would allow French companies to secure outlets outside the borders while waiting for the French medical cannabis program to be complete.
You can find the overall SFC rating here.