Updated on December 28, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
With the legalization of medical marijuana in 2016, Macedonia became one of several countries that provides patients the option to treat their symptoms with a natural, effective medicine. While the country’s medical cannabis program is still taking shape, pharmacies throughout the region are beginning to offer cannabis oil.
Macedonia’s medical marijuana program integrates medical weed into the country’s health system. By permitting physicians to prescribe medical cannabis for a range of conditions, pharmacies can fulfill medical marijuana prescriptions.
A unique feature of Macedonia’s program is that cannabis oils are also available as an over-the-counter medicine. These oils have a cannabinoid concentration that’s equal to or less than 0.2 percent. For higher levels, you’ll need a prescription.
Through the medical cannabis program, patients — minors included — may access medical weed. The program also removes the need for medical marijuana cards, which eliminates the application and renewal processes.
The history of recreational and medical marijuana in Macedonia mirrors that of other countries. For decades, using, cultivating, carrying and selling cannabis has been illegal and subject to fines and in some cases, imprisonment.
Through education, however, the country’s opinion shifted. Seminars served as the chief motivator for legislators, as the benefits and uses of medical marijuana were promoted. Within a few years, Macedonia’s support for medical weed had jumped from 50 to 70 percent. Soon after, medical marijuana was legalized in 2016.
While some countries, such as Colombia and Uruguay, allow you to cultivate marijuana plants for personal use, Macedonia does not. Doing so risks fines from the government, as well as the destruction of your medicine. Carrying dried or fresh medical weed is also prohibited. The only form of medical cannabis allowed is oil extracts.
Telemedicine is a viable option for patients in Macedonia. Several hospitals have connections to other hospitals and physicians in the U.S., Germany and Croatia. Since medical marijuana is legal in Germany, Croatia and parts of the U.S., this gives Macedonian patients the opportunity to connect with a compassionate medical cannabis doctor.
The Ministry of Health has listed a few conditions that qualify for medical marijuana, including:
If you have another illness your physician feels may benefit from medical cannabis, they may prescribe it.
Macedonia does not require patients to apply for a medical marijuana card. One reason is because the country’s pharmacies only dispense cannabis oils, versus fresh or dried weed, which could be mistaken by law enforcement for recreational use.
Some facts about marijuana in Macedonia include:
Penalties for violating recreational and medical marijuana laws are severe in Macedonia. Producing and selling cannabis, for instance, can result in up to 10 years in prison with fines that exceed more than $3000.
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