The Ministry of Health notifies a forecast of 36 tonnes in 2024 which will be intended for export
Spain has reached seventh place in the world in the legal production of medicinal cannabis, with growth of 53%, according to the Ministry of Health. The planned production for 2024 is 36 tonnes, intended for export, as medicinal use is not yet regulated in the country.
Forecasts and Growth
The Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios (AEMPS), under the Ministry of Health, has notified the Junta Internacional de Fiscalización de Estupefacientes (JIFE) of a forecast production of 36 tonnes of medicinal cannabis in 2024, an increase of 53 % compared to 2023.
Production comes from crops authorized by AEMPS for research or medical manufacturing purposes. Although the medicinal use of cannabis is still in the regulatory phase in Spain, the country has climbed to seventh place in the world in 2024, overtaking well-established European countries in the production and use of medicinal cannabis to the point of being placed at seventh place, surpassed only by the giants of this industry. : Australia – which declared 97,2 tonnes -, Israel (97,5), Colombia (100), Uruguay (116,6), Canada (284,6) and United Kingdom (406,1).
With the notable growth expected for this year: 12,5 tonnes more than in 2023, Spain has overtaken the main European countries in the production and use of medicinal cannabis such as Portugal (32 tonnes), Germany (2,8) and Denmark (15), and others. like New Zealand (21) or Peru, which in 2023 had doubled Spanish turnover.
Challenges and Pending Regulation
Spain is the only major global producer of medicinal cannabis without an internal regulatory framework. Currently, 25 public and private entities have authorization to cultivate, an increase of 150% compared to 2019. Among them, Linneo Health, the largest medicinal cannabis production company in Spain, plans an annual production capacity of up to 25 tons.
Limited Access and Need for Regulation
Although thousands of patients in Spain already use cannabis for medicinal purposes, access to them is limited due to lack of regulation. The regulation of medicinal cannabis is currently in the hands of the Ministry of Health, and experts emphasize the urgency of regulations that also allow home growing individual or collective.
Criticisms and Calls to Action
The regulation proposed by the government has attracted criticism, with some considering that it mainly favors the pharmaceutical industry. Calls are being made to include self-production in regulation, in order to guarantee wider access to medicinal cannabis.
Repercussions on Patients and Professionals
Regulatory procrastination has also drawn criticism from medical organizations and professionals, highlighting patient frustrations and risks associated with using the underground market.
The European Observatory of Cannabis Consumption and Cultivation
The European Consumer Observatory and cultivated cannabis, a group of Spanish experts, denounces the increase in the number of cultivation authorizations issued by AEMPS, while patients in Spain cannot yet benefit from this production due to the lack of regulation . They criticize that this mainly benefits the pharmaceutical industry without including self-cultivation, advocating for real progressive policies to allow equitable access and a more liberal approach.