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Spain’s New Health Minister Pledges Action on Medical Cannabis Regulations

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In a significant development, Spain's newly appointed Minister of Health, Mónica García Gómez, has committed to addressing the longstanding medical cannabis deadlock in the country. The announcement comes after months of political upheaval and protests that accompanied the formation of the new government.

President of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis (OECM), Carola Pérez, expressed optimism, stating that this commitment represents a turning point in the decade-long campaign for medical cannabis in Spain. Pérez highlighted the government's willingness to consult with stakeholders, including OECM, signaling a departure from previous administrations.

The Minister of Health, Mónica García Gómez, has prioritized the revival of the government's plans to regulate medical cannabis. Originally scheduled for implementation in January 2023, these plans had faced delays and uncertainties under the previous administration. Ms. García is reported to have engaged with the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) regarding a draft Ministerial Order prepared in 2022 to establish an initial regulatory framework.

The draft has now been forwarded to the Ministry of Health, which commits to conducting consultations with groups actively involved in the issue, with a primary focus on the OECM. Carola Pérez commended the government for its commitment, emphasizing that this marks a significant departure from past promises.

Mónica García Gómez, a qualified anesthesiologist and member of the left-wing and pro-cannabis Sumar party, has a longstanding advocacy for medical cannabis. Her dedication to the cause has been evident since her first meeting with Carola Pérez in 2015. The industry welcomes her intention to recover and advance the stalled legislative work on medicinal cannabis regulation.

Don Bellamy, CEO of Spanish medical cannabis firm Linneo Health, expressed optimism about the Minister's intention to revive the halted work on legislation. He emphasized the potential relief for Spanish patients and the importance of legislation for providing access to safe and high-quality medicinal cannabis products.

What Lies Ahead?

While the date for upcoming consultations is yet to be confirmed, sources suggest that discussions will take place over the coming weeks. The process, in the works for over 18 months, faced delays due to Spain's political climate. However, stakeholders remain hopeful that the renewed commitment from the health minister will lead to concrete steps in establishing a medical cannabis framework in Spain.

This story was first published by Business of Cannabis.


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