Ukraine passes medical cannabis legislation

Ukraine Lawmakers Pass Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill

Ukrainian lawmakers have passed a groundbreaking bill to legalize medical cannabis, a significant step towards providing relief for patients with cancer and PTSD, awaiting President Volodymyr Zelensky’s anticipated signature.

Full story after the jump.

Ukrainian lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis, sending the bill to President Volodymyr Zelensky for his signature, the Kyiv Post reports.

The bill was passed by 248 votes in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which is the nation’s 450-seat unicameral parliament. The proposal will legalize cannabis access for cancer patients and as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from its military defense against Russia, which invaded the country in February 2022.

Under the new law, medical cannabis patients would require a doctor’s prescription, and adult-use cannabis would remain strictly prohibited. To speed up patient access, the law will allow for the import of raw cannabis materials, the report said.

President Zelensky is expected to sign the legislation after having voiced his support for cannabis-based medicines in June — and during his 2019 presidential campaign — and the new law will take effect six months after receiving the president’s signature.

“The draft law on medical cannabis is aimed exclusively at treating Ukrainians who really need it. Medicines only by prescription, only medicinal products and modern production in Ukraine to avoid all possible corruption risks.” — Ukrainian MP Maria Mezentseva, via Marijuana Moment

While the bill only explicitly lists cancer and PTSD, the health committee chair said in July that lawmakers had been pressured to expand the law to cover other severe illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, the report said.

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