On June 7, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the draft bill “On regulating the circulation of cannabis plants for medical, industrial purposes, scientific and scientific-technical activities to create the conditions for expanding the access of patients to the necessary treatment of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from war”.
The news was announced by Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Lyashko, local media outlets reported on June 8.
The reports said that the Health Ministry understands the negative effects of war on mental health and know the number of people who will require medical treatment as a result of exposure to war.
Lyashko underlined that the government will prepare the legal basis for ensuring the full production cycle of cannabis-based drugs in Ukraine: from cultivation and processing to full production.
He added that that false narratives were circulated prior to the start of the war about alleged harm from the use of medical cannabis.
However, to ease people’s concerns, the sale of cannabis-based medicines will be strictly regulated.
“Cannabis drugs are not ‘competitors’ to drugs, and measures to regulate their circulation are completely different. Medical cannabis contains cannabidiol, which has no pronounced psychoactive effect, so it’s not suitable for recreational use,“ said Lyashko.
Lyashko underlined that cannabis-based drugs are used to reduce pain, muscle spasms and cramps, treat anorexia, PTSD, and anxiety disorders.
They are also used to treat certain types of epilepsy, glaucoma, psoriasis, parkinsonism, and multiple sclerosis. An important task of these drugs is to ease pain and suffering in critically ill and palliative patients, including cancer patients and HIV patients.
The bill now needs to be approved in the Ukrainian Parliament by at least 226 votes.
A draft bill on the use of medical cannabis failed to be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament on July 13, 2021 and was sent for reworking.
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