Despite the fact that France’s program to supply medical marijuana to patients was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the country recently released a list of firms that had won bids to supply this free cannabis. The program is scheduled to run for approximately six months, and the marijuana products to be distributed would be in form of oil and dry flower.
The companies include Emmac Life Sciences, Panaxia, Tilray, Aurora Cannabis, Little Green Pharma and Althea. While the companies that were selected are not based in France, they will be working with companies that are based in France.
This shows the progress that has been made in the country, given that unlike its neighbors — Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Spain — France has not permitted medical legalization, personal use or decriminalization measures.
In fact, it is still illegal in the country to possess, cultivate and use marijuana. Additionally, the country has not explicitly defined trafficking and personal possession in its laws, which means that a case is determined by what the prosecutor decides and the amount of marijuana a person is caught with. Punishments for trafficking and possession range from prison sentences of one to five years and fines of €3,750 – €75,000 ($4,531 to $90,624).
Supplying and selling marijuana in the country is also illegal, and an individual can be fined and receive a five- to 10-year stint in prison for such. If the said offender is found to be a part of a criminal organization engaged in trafficking, punishment could involve a €7.5 million ($9.6 million) fine and a sentence of life in prison.
That said, France is also the only country in Western Europe that did not make hemp production illegal, which would explain why the production of hemp in the country grew between 1993 and 2015. During this time period, the country produced roughly half of hemp in the whole of Europe, which made it the second largest producer of hemp after China.
With regard to the medical marijuana program, Olivier Véran, who is the country’s minister of Solidarity and Health, signed a decree in October last year regarding the medical marijuana pilot program, which would provide the medicinal plant to patients in need. This refers to nearly 3,000 patients in the country who suffer from painful spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, palliative issues, cancer-treatment or cancer symptoms, epilepsy and chronic pain as well as other similar central nervous system disorders.
From the above, one can see that the country still has a long way to go in terms of legalization. However, many are hopeful that the medical pilot program is a step in that direction.
Back on U.S. soil, many states have established regulated cannabis markets, and the industry is thriving. Take the example of Gage Cannabis Co., which set up shop in Michigan and is already one of the most notable brands within that market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Gage Cannabis Co. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/GAGE
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