The line from state officials however, proclaimed that the laws were intended to support patients, who had previously been forced underground to find treatments.
The products are intended to treat those suffering from malignant diseases, epilepsy, HIV, multiple sclerosis but not all patients are granted equal access.
Medical cannabis was legalised via amendments to the existing Law on Control of Opioid Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, as opposed to the inception of a new law. In contrast to the regulation of other medicines, the amendments also stipulate that only publicly employed specialists in neurology, oncology and radiotherapy, and infectious diseases can prescribe cannabis treatments. This stipulation restricts the right to prescribe for specialists employed in public health institutions – a violation of the patient’s right to treatment and free choice of doctor.
Open for Business
Macedonia is one of the few countries in the world with the legal right to grow and export medical cannabis. The system is essentially similar to the Canadian model, an open system which allows legal private companies to grow and export cannabis products.
More restrictive regimes are in place in western Europe for instance, as the government in Italy and the Netherlands cast watchful eyes over state run production systems. The free market approach is making Macedonia hot property and stock is selling quick.
American, Bulgarian and Slovenian companies have already tested the waters, producing high grade CBD products for export. In addition, many of the Canadian giants looked to feed Macedonia’s growing medical market only to be swatted off by the state back in 2016.
Macedonia has little to no interest in imports as they believe they have the facilities and legal framework to become a heavyweight in the European cannabis scene.
The fortune is in the follow-up for Macedonia. While they have been quick off the mark to join the trailblazers in the Balkans, only time will tell if Macedonia is to become the free market powerhouse of the European cannabis industry.