France’s 2-Year MMJ Experiment: All You Need To Know

The country of France is embarking on a two-year medical marijuana experiment. The experiment is seen as a positive development and an exciting step in the right direction by MMJ advocates in the country.

French politicians have been slow to recognize the benefits of medical marijuana, despite the country’s population appearing to be open-minded to the idea of legal MMJ. Advocates for medical marijuana in France are hoping the experiment will pave the way for full MMJ legalization in the country.

Medical Marijuana In France

France has the highest number of marijuana users in Europe. This is despite marijuana being illegal in France and the country having some of the strictest drug laws in Europe.

Medical marijuana has long been advocated for in France, but the country’s politicians have been steadfast in their refusal to legalize MMJ – even while many of their neighbors in the EU have updated their laws and joined the MMJ revolution.

group of people in france
Image by Howard Bouchevereau on Unsplash: France is embarking on a two-year MMJ experiment.

Are There Dispensaries In France?

There are no MMJ dispensaries in France. But there is a high demand for marijuana, both medical and recreational. Surveys have consistently shown that France has the highest number of marijuana users in Europe.

The ban on MMJ means that, unfortunately, people who use marijuana for medicinal purposes in France are all forced to purchase their marijuana on the black market. This involves risk and higher prices.

Is CBD Flower Legal In France?

CBD flower can be sold in France if it contains 0% THC. THC is the psychoactive compound in medical marijuana. If CBD flowers contain any THC at all, they are considered to be an illegal narcotic. Shops that sell CBD products are not allowed to make any claims that it has medicinal or therapeutic benefits.

Why Is France Considering Legalizing Medical Marijuana?

France is considering legalizing medical marijuana because there is strong public support for legal MMJ in the country. Many people realize the benefits of MMJ for treatment of chronic pain and other conditions. Advocates of MMJ in France point to successful medical marijuana legalization in several European countries and in the United States.

France’s 2-Year MMJ Experiment

France’s two-year medical marijuana experiment began in March 2021. It was due to start earlier, but was delayed by the COVID pandemic. The experiment will run until 2023, and is designed to explore how, and if, legal MMJ would work in France.

Who Will Take Part In France’s 2-Year MMJ Experiment?

Three thousand people who suffer from chronic pain conditions that do not respond to other types of pain relief medication will take part in France’s medical marijuana trial.

What Does France’s MMJ Experiment Involve?

France’s MMJ experiment involves the abovementioned chronic pain sufferers being supplied with free medical marijuana in the form of marijuana flower to be vaporized, MMJ oils, and MMJ pills. Different ratios of CBD to THC will be tried. All of the MMJ medication will be supplied by foreign companies, as growing marijuana is illegal in France.

France’s two-year MMJ experiment is not a drug trial designed to explore the risks and benefits of MMJ. Instead, it is an experiment that is meant to discover the real-life effects of a legal MMJ program, such as how MMJ can be prescribed, how patients will react, and how an MMJ distribution system will function.

What Might France’s 2-Year MMJ Experiment Mean For MMJ In France And Worldwide?

What might the results of France’s MMJ experiment mean? If the experiment goes well, the real-life benefits of MMJ are recognized, and the rollout of the program is a success, it seems highly likely that full MMJ legalization in France will eventually be the result.

If France introduces a successful legal MMJ program, this will offer encouragement to other countries that are still on the fence about medical marijuana legalization.

legal medical marijuana in container
Image by Yash Lucid on Pexels: Hopefully, MMJ looks set to be legalized in France.

Legal MMJ Countries In Europe

If France legalizes medical marijuana as a result of its experiment, it will be a major leap forward in the MMJ revolution in Europe. There are currently 21 European countries that have some form of legal medical marijuana:

  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

If you live in the United States and would benefit from medical marijuana treatment, the best way to get an MMJ card is through the MMJRecs online clinic.

Featured image by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal In Australia: Which Country Will Be Next To Legalize MMJ?

Early in 2017, Victoria became the first Australian state to legalize medical marijuana. Other states and territories in the country quickly followed suit. As with many countries worldwide, the discussion surrounding this important issue was long and protracted. Australia currently has to import medical cannabis from overseas, once a patient has been prescribed it by an authorized medic. The change in the law means that not only will the importation process be sped up, but also that Australia is now allowed to start growing its own medical cannabis. This means obviously that waiting time for patients prescribed with medical marijuana will be cut. Good news indeed!

Portugal was the first actual country to legalize medical marijuana, in 2001. The U.S. state of California, though, was way ahead of the game, legalizing MMJ way back in 1996. The next few countries to follow where Portugal blazed a trail were the Czech Republic, Finland, Holland, Spain, and Greece. Many more countries have since jumped on the increasingly popular bandwagon. California and a few more states – including Washington D.C. – have just recently legalized marijuana for recreational as well as medicinal use. No doubt other countries will keep a close eye on California to see how this legalization plays out and will then probably, in time, do the same. If you’re interested to know which countries currently allow marijuana for medical purposes, have a read here.

MMJ Recs - doctor with child patient

With many children suffering from debilitating illnesses that can be treated with medical marijuana, several countries seem to be changing their attitude towards MMJ.

So which country might be the next one to legalize medical marijuana? Let’s take a look at Ireland first. This little country is taking big steps towards legalization. It’s a slow process though – any proposed bills have to pass through long and drawn out parliamentary procedures before they have a chance of becoming law. The bill for legalization did pass its second reading in Parliament at the end of 2017, though, so progress is being made. The current law states that the Minister for Health can grant a special license for the use of MMJ, if he sees fit. The first such license was awarded in 2016 to a two-year-old boy with Dravet Syndrome, which allowed the treatment that he’d started in Colorado to be continued. A more recent case in Ireland made headlines when Ava Twomey’s mother – Vera – set out on a walk from her home in Cork to Dublin (some 186 miles) in order to raise awareness of her child’s plight. Ava (7) suffers from Dravet Syndrome, too, which meant that she was having several, severely debilitating epileptic seizures a day. Shortly before Christmas 2017, Ava was granted a license for the medical cannabis she needed and so the family was able to return home to Ireland from the Netherlands, where they’d been living in order to access the cannabis oil Ava needed. Since taking the cannabis oil on a regular basis, Ava’s seizures have stopped completely. A heart-warming story indeed and one which will surely increase the chances of Ireland being one of the next countries to legalize medical marijuana.

Ireland’s geographical neighbor, the U.K., could also well be in the race for the next country to legalize MMJ.  Like Ireland, the U.K. currently has very strict rules under which CBD oil can be given to patients. Cannabidiol was recently re-classified as a medicine by the Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency. An 11-year-old boy named Billy Caldwell was the first child to benefit from this change in law. Billy had been suffering from epileptic seizures every day since he was baby; sometimes as many as 100 fits in one day. He was first given cannabis oil in California (where, of course, medical marijuana had been legal for some time), which resulted in a dramatic reduction in his number of seizures and then a complete cessation of them. Back in the U.K. (Northern Ireland, actually, but it’s part of the U.K. rather than Ireland), his own GP saw the wisdom in continuing with Billy’s treatment and so prescribed him the cannabidiol. Research is currently ongoing in the form of clinical trials around a pure form of cannabis, which is specifically engineered for medicinal purposes. If these trials prove successful, the U.K. will almost certainly be well on the way to fully legalizing medical marijuana.

MMJ Recs - world map

Many more countries seem set to follow in the footsteps of Australia and the U.S. when it comes to legalizing MMJ.

France is often seen as a fairly laid-back, enlightened, and libertarian country in many respects, but to date it’s somewhat behind its European counterparts when it comes to marijuana. Sativex, a cannabis-based prescription mouth spray, was only approved in France in 2014; it was the sixteenth European country to legalize this particular treatment, which is mainly prescribed for MS sufferers. However, with a newly elected liberal-minded president – Emmanuel Macron – word is that France could well be one of the next countries to legalize MMJ. He has already eliminated compulsory prison sentences for petty marijuana offenses and, during his campaign to become president, Macron professed a desire to relax other French laws relating to marijuana. So this country does have a bit of way to go yet, but if the new president follows through with his promises, we could certainly see France as one of the next countries to legalize medical marijuana.

With so many countries now following the example set by the state of California, surely it’s only a question of time before most of the world accepts that MMJ is the way forward in the treatment and relief of many acute diseases.