The draft law 'on the legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine' was supported in the first reading on July 13. This marks the third attempt to open this market over three decades of the country's independence. Previously, similar efforts were met with resistance from politicians and the public, mainly due to concerns about a rise in the use of narcotic substances.
However, there are currently positive changes in attitudes, and there is a high probability that the deputies will support the draft law. Mykhailo Radutsky, the head of the Committee on National Health, Medical Care, and Medical Insurance, highlights that medications based on medical cannabis will help patients whose numbers could reach five million people after the war.
Pavlo Kovtonyuk, co-founder of the Ukrainian Health Care Center, underscores the importance of producing medicines from hemp and using them for medical purposes, pointing out a relatively simple production method with high standards.
According to the draft law, the cultivation of cannabis can be carried out by legal entities subject to licensing and quota compliance, and the development of narcotic substances is permitted for scientific institutions with licenses. The sale of medical products containing narcotic substances will only be possible in pharmacies with prescriptions from doctors.
Penalties for illegal use, cultivation, and resale of medical cannabis will be severe. The draft law includes training physicians to ensure the proper application of preparations based on medical cannabis.
It is important to note that support for the legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine comes with limitations on sale and use exclusively for medical and scientific purposes, under strict control and adherence to established standards and procedures.