A subcommittee in Spain’s Congress of Deputies has approved a draft bill to allow medical cannabis sales in the country, according to a report in Spanish newspaper ABC.

The draft bill has been sent to to the Health Commission for a final vote on Thursday, where it is expected to be approved. Following this, the Spanish Medicines Agency will have six months to adopt the new recommendations into regulations.

However, the bill has some limitations on the conditions for which cannabis flowers containing THC can be prescribed. Multiple sclerosis, some forms of epilepsy, nausea and vomiting derived from chemotherapy, endometriosis, cancer pain and chronic non-cancer pain (including neuropathic pain) are all permitted conditions which are included in the bill, which may be extended to other therapeutic indications when studies provide consistent evidence.

The bill also covers dispensing, which is expected to be done through pharmacies, stating that “formulas with standardized cannabis extracts or preparations must be carried out from the health system pharmacy network, preferably in hospital pharmacies, while also exploring the alternative of community pharmacies that may meet the requirements.”

The bill was backed by most of Spain’s political parties, including Podemos and the PSOE, only the right wing parties PP and Vox voted against approval.

Cannabis activists and campaigners in the country welcomed the news on social media, believing the move will lead to greater deregulation of cannabis in the country, however, the bill emphasised the need to prevent the availability of cannabis for therapeutic uses from leading to “greater availability and consumption” outside of the health context.

Spain approves medical cannabis sales by end of the year

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