Last updated: Nov 19, 2019 | Canada
PUBLISHED : 19 Nov 2019 - 14:40
France is moving closer to the launch of a medical cannabis trial which could benefit 3,000 patients. The French National Assembly is expected to give approval to the two-year trial which is being backed by president Macron’s La République En Marche majority party, reports Marijuana Business Daily.
The trial was recommended by a special committee of the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) last summer. If approved the trial is set to get underway later this year and the ANSM has suggests that only ‘pharmaceutical standard’ products for ‘certain medical conditions’, will be included.
Up To One Million Patients
If this recommendation remains unchanged then this initially will be of major benefit to GW Pharmaceuticals as its two drugs, Sativex and Epidyolex for treating multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, respectively, are the only two French approved cannabis drugs.
The France24 website reports that between 300,000 and one million patients could eventually benefit from its adoption.
Professor Nicolas Authier, the head of pharmacology at Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital Centre’s pain clinic, told France 24 that, as there is no medical cannabis grown in France, medicine would have to imported until a domestic cultivation program is established.
Despite there being no French medical cannabis program and recreational cannabis being illegal, it has for some time between the largest hemp producer in Europe.
France Grows 40% Of Europe’s Hemp
A report by New Frontier Data says France accounts for 40% of the European cultivation. In the mid-1800’s France had more than 100,000 hectares of hemp under cultivation which was used for the production of linen, fabric, twine, rope, cordage, and seed oil.
But this declined to 700 hectares by 1960s as the era of sail boats ended and other natural and synthetic fibres became available.
The Sustainable Farming website reports that there are currently around 6,000 hectares under cultivation in the west/central region of France with the crop being used in the production of high-quality paper for currency and cigarettes.
Meanwhile, CBD retailers in France are still encountering problems with the authorities who say their products should contain absolutely no THC. This has seen many shops raided and some closed down, although many continue to trade unhindered and the CBD industry continues to attract investment from overseas.
In September this year Canadian cannabis accessory company Greenlane Holdings, announced plans to partner high-end Paris retailer NOUS, which has agreed to stack its premium smoking accessories.