The Israeli Ministry of Health (IMOH) has taken a dramatic step and removed medical cannabis from the Dangerous Drug Ordinance. Without the need for pre-authorization, patients with a broad spectrum of diseases will now be able to receive a regular prescription for the pharmacy from any relevant expert doctor.
The medical cannabis reform, led by Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman, is another step to facilitate patients who need medical cannabis. According to an Israeli media report published Thursday, the Ministry of Health promotes cannabis access for medical needs only with a prescription and not with a special permit or ‘license’. Therefore, this removes medical cannabis from the Dangerous Drug Ordinance.
The new Cannabis reform for Israeli patients
According to the release, the Dangerous Drug Ordinance will be altered for certain medical conditions. Medical cannabis will be provided through a prescription and will not require a license or pre-authorization from the Ministry of Health. This will make it a similar process to acquiring any other drug from the pharmacy.
The change will take place according to the following roadmap: The reform will apply to cannabis products supervised by pharmacies only, for patients over the age of 18 and for children with severe epilepsy. A prescription will be written by a qualified doctor who will be able to prescribe up to 40 grams of medical cannabis per month per patient.
Medical cannabis will be provided in accordance with the following medical conditions: oncologic diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, HIV and neurological problems such as Parkinson’s and epilepsy, as well as severe epilepsy in minors. In addition to this, products that do not include THC, such as products containing CBD only, have also been removed from the Dangerous Narcotics Ordinance. The Ministry of Health will soon publish a draft of the new regulations.
Is Cannabis legalization on its way to Israel?
The Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman made it clear that the new move is not cannabis legalization: “I have decided to adopt the position of the professionals in the Ministry of Health and to enable a prescription instead of a license for certain medical conditions that have received a clear diagnostic,” he said. The new reform is intended to facilitate the bureaucratical process for patients to make life easier for them.
Israel has been a leader in medical cannabis and particularly in the research sector. The new reform is required and welcomed by many. With the introduction of the medical cannabis reform, the next stage for the Ministry of Health will be to give access to medical cannabis patients in pharmacies, as long as they comply with the regulations. Patients can expect to find medical cannabis products in pharmacies throughout the country in the coming months if all goes according to plan.
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