Updated on January 28, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Under the oversight of the Ministry of Health, Luxembourg will soon establish a two-year medical marijuana pilot project. Although patients already have limited access to cannabinoid-based medications, this new program will allow qualified applicants to receive a prescription for medical cannabis. However, both government officials and the Minister of Health have already stated its use will be regulated and strictly controlled. Even so, this is good news for patients in Luxembourg with severe debilitating conditions.
Patients in Luxembourg can already receive medications derived from cannabinoids. This has been available for certain patients since 2012. In 2015, the government also authorized prescriptions of Sativex for patients who have multiple sclerosis or severe spasticity. Up until recently, the country did not allow raw cannabis medications.
The 2018 pilot project will allow a limited number of patients to receive prescriptions for cannabis-based oils, tinctures and sprays. However, patients must have one of the following qualifying conditions:
The Luxembourg Minister of Health has stated she believes only 80 to 100 people will initially be allowed to join the country’s medical marijuana program. Not only are the qualifying conditions limited, but the physicians authorized to prescribe cannabis must be specialists, including:
If a physician wishes to prescribe medical marijuana, they will need to prove the patient has already attempted other courses of treatment with little to no improvement. They will also be required to explain why they believe cannabis is the best treatment option for their patient.
Just like all other aspects of Luxembourg’s medical marijuana program, accessing cannabis will be tightly controlled. Unlike nations such as Germany, patients won’t be able to fill their prescription at a standard pharmacy — they can only visit hospital pharmacies to receive their marijuana medications.
Also, doctors can only prescribe a limited amount of the medicine — about one gram per day. One advantage for patients in Luxembourg is that the cost of medical marijuana medications can be offset by their statutory health insurance.
In 2001, cannabis was reclassified as a Category B controlled substance. This means the penalties for possessing small amounts of the plant were reduced, effectively decriminalizing it. In fact, those caught possessing, cultivating or transporting any amount of marijuana will not be sent to prison. Depending on the amount of cannabis they’re found with, they will be fined anywhere from 250 to 2500 Euros.
Once Luxembourg’s medical marijuana pilot project is initiated, it will offer additional legal protection to patients with legitimate prescriptions — they will face no prosecution or fines due to possessing their cannabis medications.
Luxembourg isn’t the only nation where medical marijuana legislation is changing. Countries throughout Europe and around the world are beginning to see the efficacy of cannabis treatments and are improving their laws accordingly, giving patients access to these beneficial medications.
Stay up to date on what’s going on by checking back with MarijuanaDoctors.com. On our website, you can research international cannabis laws and see how other nations, like Luxembourg, are reacting to the latest medical information. You can also check out our informative resource guide for additional info about the ins and outs of the medical cannabis industry. Or, browse our blog filled with interesting articles that answer frequently asked questions.