Updated on April 24, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
In 2017, Poland legalized medical marijuana for qualifying patients. But, who exactly counts as one? Every country has their own guidelines for who can acquire medical marijuana, and Poland is no different. Fortunately, legislation opens up access to more than 300,000 Polish citizens.
Poland’s medical marijuana legislation mainly keeps patients with severe health problems in mind. But, it doesn’t actually mention specific conditions in the official document. This omission means doctors and pharmacists can make their own judgment calls on who can receive medicine and who can’t.
When writing the bill, Parliament wanted to give physicians the freedom to adapt to new research findings without having to wait for legislation changes. You don’t have to fit into a strict list to qualify for cannabis medicine — you will most likely be eligible if you have a condition with plenty of marijuana-positive research behind it.
The steps you need to take to get medical cannabis in Poland resemble the ones for obtaining any other prescription, but with one extra action to consider before getting access. Patients must go through their doctor and regional pharmaceutical inspector to get approval for marijuana medicine.
You must get authorization from your doctor before you work with your pharmaceutical inspector. If they already understand the medical applications of marijuana, they will be more likely to recommend it for you. However, since legalization just began, not many doctors have the right training yet. Patients whose doctors refuse to authorize medical cannabis treatment due to lack of knowledge may need to see another physician.
Once you have the go-ahead from your doctor, you also need permission from your regional pharmaceutical inspector. To determine the official to contact, get in touch with the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspectorate.
The medicine an authorized patient can access depends on what their doctor approves them for. A physician will base their prescription on the patient’s condition, abilities and lifestyle. Certified patients can then get their medicine from a pharmacy that stocks medical marijuana products.
However, these pharmacies can only source their marijuana plants from other countries due to Poland’s ban on domestic cultivation. This rule not only means companies can’t raise cannabis plants, but also that patients can’t grow their own medicine. Importing marijuana imposes extra taxes, increasing prices for patients and pharmacies.
Overall, Poland provides more access than some legal countries do, but they still have a long way to go. A lack of education and domestic cultivation reduces the number of legal sources of medicine. Polish pharmacies can offer many varieties of medication, but not as many people have access to them as they could.
The protections put in place for medical cannabis patients resemble those for patients taking any other prescription. Their prescriptions and any other paperwork completed during the authorization process work as proof of their eligibility. If a police officer sees a patient possess or use medical marijuana, the patient can provide these papers to avoid prosecution.
However, Poland’s legislation does not protect recreational users. You must go through the proper procedures before you can use weed legally. While cannabis advocates push for passing an adult-use bill, the current laws clearly prohibit recreational marijuana.
MarijuanaDoctors.com doesn’t only help Americans get access to safe, legal cannabis medicine — we support international patients, too. Check out our other international pages for more information on medical marijuana in Poland and other countries. For the latest news in the worldwide medicinal cannabis industry, keep up with our blog.