Introduction of Medical Cannabis in Ukraine: Regulations and Access

by Roman Cheplyk
Monday, January 8, 2024
Introduction of Medical Cannabis in Ukraine: Regulations and Access

Ukraine is set to introduce medical cannabis following the passage of a new law, with its implementation expected in the second half of 2024

This law will regulate the cultivation, transportation, sale, and other aspects related to medical cannabis, aligning with practices in 56 countries, including the EU, Canada, the UK, and the USA.

Key Aspects of the Law:

  1. Prohibition of Recreational Use: The law strictly prohibits recreational cannabis, focusing solely on medical use, a practice globally recognized for its therapeutic benefits in various diseases.

  2. Affordability and Production: The high cost of existing medical cannabis products limits accessibility for Ukrainians. The new law will enable domestic production, potentially offering affordable alternatives to medicines like morphine.

  3. Eligibility for Prescription: Medical cannabis will be prescribed for conditions such as pain, muscle spasms, anorexia, PTSD, anxiety disorders, certain types of epilepsy, glaucoma, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and in palliative care for severe illnesses including cancer and HIV. It can also aid in managing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, chronic pain, and nausea. Over 6 million Ukrainians, including military personnel with PTSD, cancer and epilepsy patients, and those suffering severe pain, could benefit from these drugs.

  4. Prescription and Sale Regulations: The Ministry of Health will specify eligible diseases and conditions for medical cannabis prescriptions. Dispensing will require a doctor's prescription based on medical indications and an electronic prescription. Patients will be allowed to possess and store amounts as per a single prescription.

  5. Pharmacy Licensing and Control: Pharmacies will need a special license to sell medical cannabis. An electronic registry will be established to monitor the circulation of medical cannabis, its processed products, and medicines. Each product batch will be barcoded for tracking.

  6. Cultivation and Production Standards: Legal entities will cultivate medical cannabis under strict conditions, including greenhouse cultivation with 24-hour surveillance and National Police access. Production will be subject to laboratory control by state laboratories of various government departments.

This comprehensive framework aims to responsibly introduce and regulate medical cannabis in Ukraine, addressing the needs of millions requiring such medication while ensuring strict control and oversight.

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