GQC Editorial Board
GQC Editorial Board
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Legislative Panorama: Focus On Portugal

Since 2018, medical cannabis has been legal in Portugal, but only one pharmaceutical company, Tilray, has been approved by Infarmed, the regulatory agency responsible for approving medical cannabis products in the country. Medical cannabis use in Portugal is limited to cases where conventional treatments are ineffective or cause adverse effects, and the therapeutic indication has been approved by Infarmed. Medical cannabis products can only be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy, and their use is subject to approval from the regulatory authority. 

Currently, patients with specific conditions, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and combined HIV medication for hepatitis C, appetite stimulation in palliative care, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy, other severe seizure disorders in children, therapeutic-resistant glaucoma, and chronic pain can benefit from medical cannabis in Portugal. 

Although Portugal has decriminalized all drugs, there is growing momentum toward legalizing adult-use cannabis. However, the country is waiting to see how German legalization takes shape before fully legalizing adult-use cannabis. The launch of adult-use cannabis in Portugal is expected to coincide with the German market launch, potentially allowing for the sale of up to 140 tonnes of legal cannabis (20 for medicinal and 120 for adult-use purposes). 

To sell medical cannabis products in Portugal, companies must obtain a license from Infarmed. Currently, Tilray is the only company authorized to sell medical cannabis products in the country. They offer medical cannabis flowers with 18% THC and have submitted two additional applications for authorization of cannabis-based substances: one for a dried flower inhalation spray and the other for an oral solution. 

Infarmed has set the price for a 15-gram bag of 18% THC medical cannabis flower at EUR150, which is similar to the price of the illegal market. The agency plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis for patients in Portugal by regulating, controlling, and evaluating medicines, medical devices, and cosmetics. Its regulations and controls ensure that only high-quality medical cannabis products are sold and consumed in the country.

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