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Zelenskyy signs into law medical cannabis legalization bill

15 February, 2024 Thursday
20:30

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed the law on the legalization of medical cannabis: it regulates its use in medical, industrial and scientific fields

This is evidenced by information on the website of the Ukrainian Parliament.

On February 13, the Law on regulation of the turnover of cannabis plants for medical, industrial, scientific and technical purposes to create conditions for expanding patients' access to the necessary treatment of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorders resulting from the war was returned with the president's signature.

What preceded 

In July 2021, the Ukrainian Parliament did not support the draft law on medical cannabis No. 5596. The document was returned for revision. At the time, MP Mykola Kniazhytskyi stressed that the cannabis bill should clearly spell out control over the cultivation of hemp.

In November 2021, the draft law on medical cannabis was submitted for public discussion.

On June 10, 2022, the Ukrainian parliament registered the government's draft law on medical cannabis under the number 7457. The government had previously supported the legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine.

A number of Ukrainian NGOs demanded that the Ukrainian parliament pass the bill. The draft law did not provide for full legalization, but allowed the use of the plant only for medical and scientific purposes. 

The explanatory note to the draft law states that the expediency of the therapeutic use of cannabis has been confirmed by scientists for the following conditions. Palliative care (mainly cannabis-based drugs are used to relieve a range of symptoms in cancer patients who need help, including pain relief, eating disorders, and sleep).

On July 7, 2023, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine announced its support for the draft law on the legalisation of medical cannabis.

On July 13, 2023, the Ukrainian Parliament supported the document in the first reading, and on December 21, 2023 — in the second reading. However, the European Solidarity faction stated that the bill had three key flaws.

On December 22, 2023, the Batkivshchyna faction blocked the bill from being signed into law. The initiators of the resolution stated that the consideration and adoption of the draft law allegedly took place in violation of the rules of procedure.

However, on January 16, the Ukrainian Parliament unblocked the signing of the bill.  

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