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Ukraine Medical Cannabis Legalisation Breakthrough

A controversial measure legalizing medical cannabis was passed in Ukraine after hundreds of modifications were filed.

At its first reading in July 2023, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (unicameral parliament) supported Bill 7457. The Bill was passed on its second reading on Thursday, December 21, with 248 representatives voting in favor.

Ukraine Health Minister Viktor Liashko commented on the legislation’s passage, saying (translated):

"This is the decision that millions of people have been waiting for cancer patients, people with multiple sclerosis, palliative care patients, and so on. They all had the opportunity to live a better life. This is a significant victory for humanism and the start of a long journey to put all voted-on norms into effect. There is still more work to be done, but the first critical step has been completed."


The bill now heads to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for signature, which is expected because President Zelenskyy has already shown strong support for medicinal cannabis legalization in his nation.

Beyond the President’s approval, Minister Liashko stated that the Ministry of Health would approve a list of ailments and circumstances for which a patient can be given medicinal cannabis-based medication by a doctor, as well as the ways in which it can be administered.

Mr. Liashko stated that Ukraine will rigorously monitor the distribution of cannabis-based medications and that the use of cannabis for recreational purposes will remain illegal. The bill is anticipated to go into force in six months.

While medicinal cannabis has been a hot subject in Ukraine for some time, the drive to legalize it increased following Russia’s invasion of the nation in 2022.

Given the nature of the conflict, cannabis might play a big part in dealing with some of the negative consequences, such as aiding in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, it is unclear if PTSD will be one of the qualifying disorders. The supply of traditional pharmaceuticals is a persistent issue in the country, and the introduction of medical cannabis might help to alleviate the situation.

Bill 7457, while initially reliant on imports, permits for domestic production, processing, and manufacturing of cannabis and related medications. It appears that hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) will be the emphasis.

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