Ukraine Parliament Gives Initial Approval to Medical Cannabis Bill

The Ukraine Parliament gave initial approval this week to a medical cannabis legalization proposal. The law still could see additional amendments and must pass a second reading before heading to President Volodymyr Zelensky for his signature.

Full story after the jump.

Ukraine’s parliament has given initial approval to a medical cannabis legalization bill, the Kyiv Post reports. The law must still pass a second reading following any amendments and finalization by lawmakers before moving to President Volodymyr Zelensky for his signature.

People’s Deputy Iryna Herashchenko said on Telegram the measure is “not so much about medicine as about the industrial cultivation of cannabis and corruption schemes by the government regarding permits and the development of huge financial flows.”

“The law is supposed to help treat PTSD, reduce cancer pain, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions. Therefore, it is important to clean up all the problematic corruption points there regarding the cultivation of hemp on a large industrial scale without proper control. The issue of drug prevention also remains important. Because now the law enforcement officers are crushing them, and this is big shady dirty money. The production and sale of tobacco and alcohol is under state control. It should be the same with cannabis. Ukraine must produce its own drugs for the medical use of cannabis, but under strict state control.” — Herashchenko via Telegram

The draft law backed by the Ministry of Health would establish a licensing system for the cultivation of cannabis strains intended for medical purposes and calls for strict monitoring of the production and distribution of medical cannabis and related products. Each batch of medical cannabis would be labeled with a unique barcode, ensuring tracking throughout the supply chain, the report says.

The plan is backed by Zelensky. A poll conducted alongside local elections in October 2022 found 65% of Ukrainians backed the reforms.

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