Switzerland is easing its medical cannabis restrictions, allowing doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to their patients without federal authorization starting Aug. 1, according to Le News.
The Federal Council announced the move June 22, the news outlet reported.
The change removes a requirement for doctors to seek authorization from federal health authorities when prescribing medical cannabis.
Medical and adult-use cannabis became illegal in Switzerland in 1951, Le News reported, and medical use was only permitted in “exceptional circumstances,” in which case the prescribing doctor had to apply to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
The FOPH grants roughly 3,000 authorizations annually, usually for patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis or neurological diseases, according to Le News. The process is typically “long and costly,” the news outlet reported, which has prompted the change in law.
Cultivating cannabis for medical purposes will still require authorization and oversight by Swissmedic, Switzerland’s drug regulator, Le News reported, and home cultivation for personal use remains illegal.