COFEPRIS approves regulation for sale and use of medicinal cannabis in Mexico since 2017

Original Article 2017, Why has new Marijuana law Not been implemented? 

What was predicted for several months is now a medical reality in Mexico? Medical marijuana, which had already been authorized for patients with ailments that show improvements when consuming drugs derived from this plant, now has more permissiveness than ever.

Yesterday, the Secretary of Energy and the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) announced the new regulations that will govern and control the sale and use of medical cannabis in Mexico. With this, the Mexican government of Enrique Peña Nieto has endeavored to complete work generating the greatest possible amount of openness to marijuana, always on the medical side.

The 12-page document sets out the ways in which drugs with components of marijuana, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), will be distributed and prescribed in the country. With special emphasis on determining who can prescribe a medical cannabis treatment, depending on the patient’s symptoms.

Article 18 of this regulation states that “only drugs containing pharmacological derivatives of cannabis, surgeons, dentists or medical graduates with a professional license issued by the competent educational authorities and comply with the provisions of the applicable legal provisions and with the requirements determined by the Secretariat 

These requirements have not yet been completely clear. What is known is that practically any doctor with a professional license can prescribe a medical marijuana treatment, depending on the conditions that the patient presents, and if they can be treated with this type of drugs.

A few months ago, the former governor of the State of Mexico gave eleven medical marijuana treatments to patients with cancer and epilepsy.

At the moment, there is not a complete list of the diseases and illnesses that the health authorities will accept as apt to be treated with this type of drugs that include cannabis derivatives. The truth is that the Mexican Government has opened the doors to the investigation of this plant in the national territory, allowing for the first time in history the planting and harvesting of legal marijuana, always for scientific purposes.

Within the new opportunities, ” sowing, cultivation, harvesting, preparation, conditioning, acquisition, possession, trade, transportation in any form, supply, employment, use and consumption of the plant ” will also be allowed, provided that the legal license issued by the health authorities. This will open considerably the board of medical options to treat patients who present severe pain or who require a calming agent such as cannabidiol, as is the case of patients with epilepsies or Parkinson’s.

In addition, it is intended to curb dependence on various opiates with which certain ailments have been treated in the past. As an alternative option, cannabis treatments aim to start treating symptoms of cancer and epileptic seizures. In nations like the United States, medical marijuana is already prescribed to patients with depression, post-traumatic stress, migraine, spinal injuries, among others.

So far, it has not been determined whether the IMSS or the ISSSTE will cover this type of treatment free of charge for its members. The truth is that privately, patients can access a medical marijuana treatment without any problem, as long as they have their current license authorizing the use.

One of the main obstacles is the cost. So far, a treatment of this type can cost between 6 and 11 thousand pesos per month . These are the prices of cannabidiol, one of the compounds of cannabis sativa most used to treat diseases such as anxiety, bipolar disorders, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, pain derived from cancer, Parkinson’s and even schizophrenia.

With the recent permissiveness of sowing and harvesting in Mexican territory, the costs are expected to fall dramatically. Companies wishing to import medical marijuana drugs from other countries must ” have the corresponding sanitary registration of the drug, issued by Cofepris .” In addition to having the appropriate facilities and buying products that expire at least twelve months after being acquired.

Now, Mexico will have a series of pharmaceutical alternatives to treat hundreds of thousands of patients who could find in the THC or the CBD of marijuana, a solution to their deep suffering.

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