Officials with the European Commission this week partially approved the launch of the ‘European Cannabis Initiative,’ which is a multi-national ballot initiative seeking to improve medical cannabis access in the European Union (EU) and boost cannabis research opportunities.
The commission approved the initiative to cover two out of the three requests made by advocates:
- That the initiative would “foster access to medical cannabis and allow the transportation of cannabis and its derivatives prescribed for therapeutic purposes to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to health; and
- That the initiative serves to “allocate the necessary resources for researching cannabis for its therapeutic purposes.”
Advocates had also called for the initiative to “convene a trans-European citizens’ assembly on cannabis policies” that would have included sanctions and established consistency among member nations’ cannabis policies, but the commission ultimately rejected this request.
“The Commission had to refuse the registration of the first objective of the initiative, as it falls outside the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act on this matter,” officials wrote.
Following Tuesday’s approval, advocates now have six months to launch their signature collection efforts. If the petition can garner at least one million supporting signatures from at least seven different EU member nations, the European Commission will be forced “to take action in response to the request or not and will be required to explain its reasoning.”
The approval follows the recent announcement that lawmakers in Germany — which is the EU’s largest economy — have reached a final deal to legalize adult-use cannabis, with possession and home cultivation expected to become federally legal there starting April 1.
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