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30th January 2020

Sicily no longer charging patients for medical cannabis

The Sicilian government issued free medical cannabis prescriptions for patients

The regional government of Sicily has just made medical marijuana more accessible to citizens after Sicilian top health administrator, Ruggero Razza, signed a decree last Tuesday that makes medical marijuana free-of-charge to certain qualified program participants.
Patients eligible include those affected by chronic pain, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. These patients must have a doctor’s prescription, once they get the prescription they can then obtain medical cannabis from a licensed pharmacy.
These licensed pharmacists can either get their supply from the Italian Ministry of Defense or import the needed products from regulated growers outside Italy.

A report from News 1 explained that “Not all doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis, but only doctors employed by regional public health companies, specialists in anesthesia and resuscitation, neurology and pain therapy centers. Cannabis can be prescribed through papers for oral use (for the preparation of decoctions), papers and capsules for inhalation use (through specific vaporizers) and through oil for oral use.”
This makes Sicily the latest region to join the ranks of national governments in EU who had passed laws that made cannabis treatment free. This autonomous region of Italy, has now joined other governments in the European Union like Ireland and the Czech Republic in subsidizing their citizen’s cannabis treatments.
Medical cannabis has been legal across Italy since 2013, but patients were mostly required to pay for prescriptions.
In Sicily, growing or selling marijuana for recreational use still remains illegal under international law. Possession of cannabis for personal use has been decriminalized. In 2019, Italy joined the growing list of countries, including Canada, Uruguay and others, where small-scale marijuana cultivation at home for personal use became legal. Although possession is now not considered a crime, people who are caught with a certain amount will be subjected to fines and confiscation of documents, including driving license and/or passport.
This initiative will surely allow patients to have a more affordable and accessible healthcare system. It will also benefit the suppliers as a decision like this is expected to help boost the cannabis industry in the country.
About Medical Cannabiz World:
In November 2019, Medical Cannabiz World opened its doors to the medicinal cannabis industry, supported by the Maltese government’s commitment to legislation for this high growth sector.  Medical Cannabiz World summit 2020 will focus on the Malta medical cannabis industry as well as global opportunities in the sector, attracting investors, medical researchers, policy makers and entrepreneurs looking to forge exciting new opportunities.