To date, there are no regulatory approved medicines for companion animals using cannabinoids derived from the medical cannabis plant in Europe.
CannPals lead drug candidate, CPAT-01, is in development as a pain and inflammatory control for dogs containing cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, and CannPal will be seeking to open a VMP file to allow for the legal sale as a veterinary medicinal product in the European Countries below.
Veterinarians should check with their federal animal health regulator prior to discussing any of the approved human medicines with pet owners in any of the countries below.
Personal possession of cannabis is decriminalized and sale is allowed only in certain licensed coffeeshops in the continental Netherlands. Medical cannabis in Netherlands was legalised in 2000 and there are over 50,000 patients now being prescribed medical cannabis for treatments.
Recreational use of cannabis is illegal but often tolerated and Germany has completed the legislative reforms necessary to expand the medical use of cannabis. Before the new law passed in January 2017, patients could only gain access to medical cannabis through a special individual authorisation. Germany is now one of the first countries in the world to include medical cannabis in the basic range of medications that must be covered by both private insurers and public health services.
Cannabis was recently made a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and medical cannabis is legal for the few cases of severe epilepsy, vomiting, or nausea caused by chemotherapy or multiple sclerosis. Recreational cannabis is illegal.
Cannabis in the Czech Republic is illegal for recreational use, but personal possession has been decriminalized since 1 January 2010 and medical cannabis has been legal since 2013 through a bill allowing cannabis to be legally available on prescription in pharmacies as a medicine but there is no clear process for acquiring licences to produce, sell or purchase products derived from cannabis.
1st November 2017 marked the first day on which medicinal cannabis could be sold in registered pharmacies. Patients need a special permission from a regional pharmaceutical inspector and a physician accredited by the Ministry of Health. The law only allows the importation of cannabis (mainly from the Netherlands), rather than domestic production or self-cultivation.
As of February 2018, the Decree on the classification of illicit drugs allows medical practitioners to prescribe cannabinoid-based drugs (synthetic, natural and the so-called medicinal cannabis), as well as standardised buds and flowering tops of cannabis, however the former is still unclear. Recreational use is decriminalized but not legal.
Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in Greece but on 1st March 2018, the country adopted the bill ‘Provisions for the Production of end products of medicinal cannabis’. The bill proposes that Greece’s medical patients can access medicinal cannabis products, in recognition of their benefits for specific illnesses. It also proposes that individuals can cultivate cannabis for the sole purpose of producing medicinal cannabis products in the country.
Three types of cannabis derivatives for medical use (Sativex, Marinol and Nabilone) were approved by the Danish Medicines Agency in 2011, but require prescription. Cannabis in other forms such as hashish and the raw plant are illegal, but from 2018 this and other variants have be prescribed on a trial basis to some patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal injury and chronic pain.
In December 2017, the Norwegian Parliament’s sub-committee on health announced their intention to decriminalize personal drug use, providing medical treatment to users rather than fines and imprisonment. In March 2018, the government created a working group to prepare the reform in drug policy. It is legal under certain medical purposes but rare.
Possession of small amounts for personal use is a misdemeanor subject to fines and the suspension of documents (passports or driver’s licenses). Sale and cultivation is punishable by imprisonment, even if in small amounts and for exclusive personal use. However licensed cultivation for medicinal and industrial use is legal but strictly regulated.
Personal possession decriminalized, with offenders going through a 4-stage process should they admit to their crime but marijuana for medical use has been permitted in Israel since the early 1990s for cancer patients and those with pain-related illnesses such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, other chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients can smoke cannabis, ingest it in liquid and caplet form, or apply it to the skin as a balm.
In 2015 Croatia became the first Balkan country to allow patients to legally buy and use marijuana products to treat serious illnesses and as such, it’s legalized for limited medical uses.
Sativex was approved for prescription use in 2015 and in March 2018, the Maltese president signed into law legislation approving medical cannabis with a prescription, though the legislation did not detail which specific conditions would merit the use of cannabis.
A limited group of medicinal users are permitted to purchase Sativex mouth spray and/or Bedrocan, Bediol or Bedica brand herbal cannabis from one of 27 apothecaries that have the permit to sell medical cannabis.
Medical cultivation legal in a number of provinces. In 2016, legislation was approved to allow the use of sublingual cannabinoid medications (such as Sativex) for use with a doctor’s prescription. Use of whole-plant cannabis remains illegal but allowed for limited medical and scientific purporses.
Recreational cannabis has been decriminalized, and swiss physicians can obtain a special permit from the Federal Office of Public Health for their patients with the allowance to prescribe medical cannabis for 12 months, although its use is limited.
Limited regulations allow for medical cannabis with less than 0.2% THC is legal in Romania, although limited.
Recreational cannabis has been decriminalized in Luxembourg and in November 2017, the Minister of Health announced a two-year pilot program under which Luxembourgers would be able to obtain cannabis extracts and cannabinoids for medical purposes. In June 2018, lawmakers unanimously approved a bill to legalize the medical use of cannabis.
In 2016, an istanza d’Arengo (public initiative) was presented to the government of San Marino, requesting the legalization of medical cannabis. The measure was approved by the government, which began the process of establishing a cultivation plan, negotiating international treaties, and other needed steps. Sativex is issued at no cost in San Marino to patients suffering from pain due to multiple sclerosis or bone-marrow conditions.
Cyprus legalized the medical use of cannabis oil in January 2017, however only advanced stage cancer patients are currently eligible.
In February 9, 2016, the Macedonian Parliament Health Committee gave its approval for the legalization of medical marijuana. Beginning in June 2016, patients without a prescription were allowed to buy oil with 0.2 per cent cannabinoids or less; more concentrated forms require prescription.
Cannabis for recreational purposes has been de-criminalized since 2001 and as of 2018, legislation was signed into law to allow for the medical use of cannabis in Portugal and its dispensation at pharmacies.