Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

2024-01-29

Spain as 7th world’s medical cannabis production

Spain as 7th world's medical cannabis production

Spain is gaining attention in the medical cannabis industry. With an impressive 53% increase in legal production in the past year, the Iberian country has climbed to become the seventh global power in this field. According to data provided by the Ministry of Health, a production of 36 tons of medicinal cannabis is expected in 2024, mainly destined for export due to the lack of internal regulation allowing therapeutic use in the country.

Increase in medical cannabis production

Despite the absence of national regulation allowing access to medical cannabis for Spanish patients, the constant increase in production has been noticeable. The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) has overseen a significant increase in authorised crops for research or medical manufacturing purposes in recent years. This progressive growth has placed Spain among the seven leading legal producers of medical cannabis worldwide.

This achievement is even more remarkable when considering that Spain is the only country among the major producers of medical cannabis that lacks internal regulation for its therapeutic use. The current legislation dates back to 1967, enacted during the era of dictator Francisco Franco, and only allows authorised cultivation for specific purposes, without considering its medical application within the country.

The spectacular increase in Spanish production has been driven in part by the growth in the number of entities authorised for cultivation. Currently, 25 entities, both public and private, have licences for the production of medical cannabis, representing a 150% increase compared to 2019. Among these entities is Linneo Health, a leading company in the production of medicinal cannabis in Spain, which has the capacity to produce up to 25 tons annually.

Medical cannabis use in Spain

Despite these advances in production, the lack of internal regulation has generated frustration among patients who could benefit from medical cannabis. Thousands of patients in Spain resort to personal cultivation of cannabis user associations to access treatments that are not available within the public health system. This situation has led to urgent calls for the Ministry of Health to expedite the regulation process, especially after the Congress of Deputies requested the approval of medical cannabis regulation in 2022.

The delay in regulation has also drawn criticism from scientific organisations and healthcare professionals, highlighting the importance of providing effective and safe treatment options for patients with chronic diseases. The inclusion of cultivation in the proposed regulation has been highlighted as a priority by some experts, arguing that it would allow broader and more democratic access to medical cannabis.

Internationally, Spain has stood out for its significant increase in medical cannabis production compared to other countries with established regulatory frameworks. This trend suggests significant potential for the country in the global medical cannabis market, provided that pending issues of internal regulation are addressed.

In summary, Spain has reached a significant milestone in becoming a global power in medical cannabis production. However, for Spanish patients to fully benefit from these advances, it is crucial to establish internal regulation allowing for therapeutic use within the country.

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