Ukraine Health Minister Announces Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Ukraine Health Minister Viktor Liashko announced government support for legalizing medical cannabis with a bill that includes more than 50 qualifying conditions.

Full story after the jump.

Ukraine Health Minister Viktor Liashko on Tuesday announced that the government is backing a bill to legalize medical cannabis, Forbes reports. The proposal comes amid the country’s war against invading Russia.  

“We understand the negative effects of war on mental health. We understand the number of people who will need medical treatment due to this exposure. And we understand that there is no time to wait.” — Liashko, in a Facebook post, via Forbes 

The measure includes more than 50 qualifying conditions, including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), neurological diseases, and neuropathic chronic pain, the report says. It includes strict controls regarding cultivation, production, and sales. The legislation does propose licensing for economic activities and for the cultivation of strains for medical purposes and scientific research. 

The bill was first proposed in June 2021 but was not approved by Ukraine’s Parliament. Two months prior, the government legalized the use of THC-based synthetic drugs dronabinol, nabilone, and nabiximols, a cannabis extract developed by GW Pharmaceuticals.   

An October 2020 Kyiv Post poll found that 64.88% of Ukrainians backed medical cannabis reforms, with 29.53% opposed, the report says.     

In the Facebook post, Liashko said the measure would create conditions for expanding patients’ access to cancer and PTSD treatments that result from the war. 

Cannabis would not be legalized for adult use under the measure. 

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