Updated on April 24, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
The microstate of San Marino, surrounded by Italy, is still in the early stages of legalizing medical cannabis. While they currently use some synthetic cannabinoids for treatment, they still need to finalize the legislation for marijuana medicine.
While some nations need patients to sign up for a program to get medicine, others don’t. San Marino will probably not have such a registry. But, they will have a program that involves special government staff and resources dedicated to medical cannabis. Currently, the director of the San Marino Health Authority has a task force working on medical marijuana legislation.
The director, Andrea Gualtieri, and his group are considering opening access to hospital patients, then to a broader population. However, these plans are still in the works, with the most current updates coming from 2016.
The San Marino government’s investigation into the healing properties of marijuana began in 2015. They held an initial meeting in March, then subsequent conferences in April and September. In October, the National Institute of Health discussed the results they found regarding the medical use of psychotropics like cannabis. The Grand and General Council of San Marino then voted on and accepted the legalization of medical marijuana.
San Marino has yet to establish official laws on using psychotropic substances and marijuana for therapeutic purposes. The government gave the medical cannabis task force 90 days to determine regulations in May 2016, but no news since then has indicated any progress.
San Marino citizens cannot own or grow any marijuana legally, even for medical purposes. Gualtieri’s commission is considering leaving cultivation up to a public structure, but they have yet to decide. In the future, you may or may not have the freedom to grow your own medicine in San Marino.
The country of San Marino covers about 61 square kilometers — one-third the size of Washington, D.C. So, distance typically isn’t an issue for patients in the microstate who need access to healthcare. But, homebound people could still use telemedicine to broaden their healthcare options. Unfortunately, San Marino does not seem to have a dedicated telemedicine system, and Europe has no standardized system in place.
San Marino has not defined what conditions will qualify someone for medical marijuana. Since it seems like they don’t plan on requiring a medicinal cannabis card, those criteria will probably be up to the prescribing doctor. Currently, patients with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries can take Sativex, a synthetic cannabinoid medication.
Probably not. Many countries in Europe, including Italy, only require a prescription to get access to cannabis medicine. Then, the patient would either ask their doctor if they could receive a prescription for their condition, or the doctor would prescribe it without the patient requesting.
Here are a few details we have so far about San Marino’s medical marijuana program:
Technically, San Marino legislation doesn’t mention cannabis in its drug laws. However, they still impose some penalties for people caught with it, especially in large amounts. An amount of marijuana considered ready for sale can earn you prison time. Meanwhile, you might only get a fine or a warning for a small amount cannabis.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we track the latest marijuana industry happenings worldwide, no matter how big or small the size of the country. While the progress of San Marino’s medicinal cannabis laws has tapered off, we’ll let you know about any updates as soon as they happen on our blog.