Updated on April 24, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
San Marino has begun the process of creating medical marijuana laws, but they haven’t finalized them yet. Going off what government officials have said so far, however, we can make some educated guesses about what they’ll look like. We can also talk about the current rules regarding recreational use and possession.
While officials agree to legalize medicinal cannabis, they haven’t finished the process. So, you can’t use phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, for medical purposes. But, some patients can use a synthetic cannabinoid called Sativex if they have a condition the medicine can treat.
If you have multiple sclerosis or a bone marrow disorder, you could qualify to get Sativex treatment for free. San Marino will consider patients dealing with chronic pain related to these conditions for the medicine. Hopefully, the country will take a similar approach to cannabis medication, providing free care to those in need.
San Marino’s medicinal cannabis commission takes its legislation ideas from other European countries. While some require patients to join a state program, others, such as Italy, only ask for a prescription. Health Authority director Andrea Gualtieri has not mentioned a program and seems to assume doctors will prescribe cannabis medicine to patients.
While they may not have a registry for patients to become a part of, San Marino will likely have a department handling medical marijuana. Gualtieri is considering creating structures to control the cultivation and production of plants and medicine.
San Marino has somewhat unclear laws on marijuana. They do not include it in their official list of narcotic drugs, but they do impose penalties and fines for possession, use and cultivation. Your punishment for getting caught with cannabis depends on local attitudes and legislation. A small amount could earn you a fine or warning, but having enough to sell to others can put you in prison.
As long as San Marino goes without medical marijuana legislation, it will still be illegal to possess it, even for medicinal purposes. Plus, tourists who can legally have cannabis medicine in their country could still get in trouble for having it in San Marino.
The San Marino government has no intention to legalize or decriminalize recreational marijuana. So, if they put strict qualifications in place, people who fall through the cracks won’t have another option. Cannabis criminalization also reduces safe cannabis sources, exposing desperate patients to contaminated marijuana.
Other limitations could involve patient qualifications, the price of medicine or doctor requirements. Mandating certain conditions for patients could cut off health problems researched in the future, and making physicians go through certification reduces the number of available doctors. High prices could also exclude patients from low-income backgrounds.
In a nation with illegal recreational marijuana, protections keep patients safe from legal action. The types of medicine available could come in similar forms to adult-use items, like bud and concentrates. So, having government-backed documents lets patients prove their right to have their medication. Both medical marijuana cards and prescriptions can serve this purpose. Or, San Marino could take an entirely new approach.
Having documentation also helps doctors practice safely. By working through the nation’s health system, they can create a record showing their legal activities. Then, when asked about providing access to cannabis medicine, they can prove their patient has a qualifying condition.
As you can see, few rules about San Marino cannabis medicine exist right now. As time goes on, the government will hopefully pass additional laws and let patients get access to natural medicine. To learn more about the latest cannabis updates in San Marino and beyond, follow our news blog.