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Poland Gives the Green Light to Medical Cannabis Sales

Poland Gives the Green Light to Medical Cannabis Sales

By Grow How

It's good news for hundreds of thousand of patients across Poland this week, after the government finally made the decision to approve new legislation which effectively legalises medical cannabis. Pharmacies across the country will now be able to legally sell medical cannabis products, if prescribed by a doctor and licensed to distribute the authorised products.

However, the scheme has already come under fire from critics, due to the prohibitively expensive prices of Polish medical pot.

As of last Wednesday, Polish pharmacies have been given the green light to use imported cannabis for the creation of prescription drugs for the first time. In order for any such products or preparations to be sold on for public use, they will first need to be registered with the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products.

Officials in Poland stated that most pharmacists are ready to begin making and distributing cannabis-based drugs for public use, through a number of training courses and programs will be offered to those who require additional support.

“Given the fact that there are nearly 15,000 pharmacies in Poland, an overwhelming majority is authorised to make prescription drugs – that’s around 90 percent,” said a spokesperson for the Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber.

“It is estimated that up to 300,000 patients could qualify for medical marijuana treatment,” the chamber said. Conditions eligible for treatment include chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms and drug-resistant epilepsy,”

Unfortunately, while the decision to allow medical cannabis to be prescribed in Poland represents an important step forward for the country’s pot program, the costs of the drugs are likely to exclude many qualifying patients entirely.

“According to experts, one gram of medical marijuana will cost PLN 50-60 [EUR 13.69 – 16.43], while a monthly course of treatment around PLN 2,000,” the Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber said.

2,000 PLN equates to around £400, which in many countries wouldn’t seem like too much to pay for high-quality cannabis products imported from overseas. In Poland however, this comes close to the average monthly wage a person can expect to earn in total following tax deductions. Meaning that unless the patient in question is relatively wealthy, they may have little choice but to remain with black-market buying.

As for why the cost of cannabis is so high in Poland, it’s exactly the same as the issue faced by many other EU markets where cannabis prices are out of control. Neighbouring Germany being a prime example, where cannabis users across the board are quickly being priced out of the market. Rather than having planned ahead and created a stockpile of cannabis to work with – as Canada took the initiative to do long ago – Poland is currently 100% reliant on cannabis imports. Which is precisely the kind of reliance that leads to the price being jacked up by international suppliers, for whom the only thing that matters is of course making money.

It is estimated that around 300,000 people across Poland will now qualify for medical cannabis in one form or another. However, as complete medical insurance cover that also includes prescription drugs is comparatively rare, it seems inevitable that many will miss out. At least until a time comes when Poland is able to satisfy its own medical cannabis requirements domestically.

In any case, the whole thing still takes Poland a huge step ahead of the UK, where cannabis in all its forms remains illegal for distribution at any level. The UK may have recently made the decision to acknowledge cannabis as a medical product, but actually getting it out and about to those who need it is something the public is being warned not to hold its collective breath for.



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