The bill on legalization of medical cannabis provides for its removal from the list of narcotic substances and transfer it to the register of strictly controlled drugs, head of the parliamentary committee on public health Mykhailo Radutsky (Servant of the People faction).
“We are removing medical cannabis from the list of drugs, and this is not our invention. The UN did it many years ago. Cannabis is not a drug anywhere in the world, but only in countries like Russia, Belarus, Venezuela and, unfortunately, Ukraine. I hope that the parliament will correct this story,” Radutsky said at a briefing after the faction’s meeting on Monday evening in Kyiv.
The head of the committee said that only a doctor will prescribe an electronic prescription for a patient to purchase cannabis.
He reported that the Verkhovna Rada plans to consider at the first reading a bill on the legalization of medical cannabis on Tuesday and expressed hope that MPs will primarily think about patients and not about political dividends during the vote. According to the MP, after the adoption of the bill at the first reading, the MPs will have enough time to prepare the document for the second reading.
“I think that the law should be passed at the first reading, and there will be time until autumn to correct it before the second reading, we are not saints at the committee as well, we could miss something,” Radutsky said.
First Deputy Head of the Servant of the People faction Oleksandr Korniyenko hopes that their faction will be able to collect 200 votes for the bill No. 5596 On Amendments to Some Laws on Regulation of Cannabis Treatment for Medical, Scientific and Scientific Activities.
“It seems that colleagues from other factions support it. Our faction will support, not unanimously, it is obvious: there are those who are against it. But I think we will give 200 votes,” Korniyenko told reporters after a meeting of the conciliation council on Monday.
As reported, the Verkhovna Rada intends to consider the bill on the treatment of cannabis for medical purposes on Tuesday at an extraordinary meeting initiated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Parliamentary Committee of the Nation’s Health, Medical Assistance and Medical Insurance has supported a bill on the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
The committee adopted the corresponding bill No. 5596, developed by the MPs of different factions, at a meeting on Wednesday.
According to the explanatory note to the bill, it provides for the need to comply with Ukraine’s international legal obligations regarding the circulation of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors.
The bill provides for the classification of hemp depending on the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in it: medical hemp (Cannabis) with a low content of THC in dry matter (0.2-1%) and Cannabis with a high content of THC (more than 1%), as well as industrial hemp, the content of THC in the dry mass of which does not exceed 0.2%
The bill proposes, in particular, to create regulatory conditions for the legal circulation of cannabis, in particular for use in medical practice, scientific and technical activities, to establish requirements and determine the features of controlled circulation of cannabis in certain areas of activity in accordance with the requirements of international law, to resolve issues related to organization of activities for the circulation of hemp at each stage of such a turnover, including, inter alia, operations for the import/export/transportation through the territory of Ukraine, storage and sale of hemp.
Also, the bill will define the requirements for business entities that can carry out operations related to the circulation of hemp, define and regulate the distribution of functions and powers of regulatory bodies that ensure the fight against illegal traffic in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, to control the use of hemp for purposes specified by law.
According to the authors of the document, it should give an impetus to the development of medical science and the pharmaceutical industry by introducing the possibility of using hemp for medical and research purposes, to help improve the level and quality of medical services for the population in the field of palliative medicine, the methods of which, in particular, are based on the use of medical hemp.
The bill should also ensure that patients can purchase and store cannabis for medicinal purposes as medically indicated and prescribed by a doctor.
The bill provides for amendments to the foundations of the legislation of Ukraine on health care regarding the consolidation of the human right to access the necessary medicines, including, among other things, drugs containing narcotic drugs and/or psychotropic substances and precursors, the law On Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors regarding the provision of the possibility of using plants of the genus hemp for industrial, scientific and medical purposes, the law On the List of Permitting Documents in the Sphere of Economic Activity regarding the inclusion in this list of permits for the use of facilities and premises intended for the implementation of activities for the circulation of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors.
At the same time, the committee rejected the alternative bill No. 5596-1.
On June 1, a group of MPs registered bill No. 5596 on amendments to certain laws regarding the regulation of the circulation of cannabis for medical purposes, scientific and scientific and technical activities in the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament said on its website. “After the adoption of the bill, Ukrainian patients will have access to treatment and relief of complex diseases, which is in line with modern world practice,” one of the authors of the legislative initiative Yevhenia Kravchuk (the Servant of the People parliamentary faction) wrote on Facebook.
She said that there will be enhanced control over the circulation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. In particular, according to her, the bill provides for an electronic register of all hemp-based drugs, they can be purchased exclusively with electronic prescriptions from doctors.
The MP said that any activity related to the circulation of medical cannabis will also be licensed.
According to Kravchuk, after the adoption of the bill, Ukrainian scientists and the pharmaceutical industry will be able to conduct clinical trials in line with international standards, and Ukraine will join the countries that successfully use hemp for medical purposes.
The Cabinet of Ministers has removed two cannabinoid preparations from the list of illegal drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors.
According to government resolution No. 324 dated April 7, 2021, public control measures are not applied to the substance cannabidiol isolate, the circulation of psychotropic substances Dronabinol, Nabilon and Nabiximols is allowed only in the form of medicines or in the form of substances intended for the production and manufacture of such medicines.
The changes will make it possible to create mechanisms for the use of drugs containing cannabinoids in medical practice, ensuring their prescription and use in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine with measures to control their circulation.
The decision to legalize medical cannabis will be made, but not hastiliy, Mykhailo Radutsky, head of parliament’s committee on national health, has said.
“We believe that medical cannabis should be available in the country, but we do not want to rush with this issue … We do not promise to do this in turbo mode, we will study very carefully so that, God forbid, not to make mistakes. Do not expect a quick decision from us, but there will be a solution, and this initiative is definitely not bad for the country,” Radutsky said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.
He recalled that several bills on the use of medical cannabis are under consideration by the relevant committee.
According to David Arakhamia, the leader of the Servant of the People faction, the legalization of medical cannabis is a very good initiative.
“We are talking about medical use with very high state control. This must be done because two million people in Ukraine feel pain every day,” said Arakhamia.