The Greek parliament on Friday voted in favor of a bill to legalize the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana in Greece.
The bill, which was proposed by the main opposition party, Syriza, received 158 votes in favor and 33 against. The roll-call vote requested by Syriza was rejected by only three parties: the Greek Communist Party, Greek Solution (Elliniki Lisi), and MeRA 25, the party of Yanis Varoufakis.
Medicinal cannabis in Greece
Syriza itself refrained from participating in the roll-call vote to protest against the fact that the vote was not taken in person.
As a result, the Movement for Change (KINAL) party also abstained. He claimed that holding and voting a roll-call vote requested by Syriza when the party itself is not participating is contrary to parliamentary procedures. However, before the vote, KINAL said it would support the legalization of medical marijuana in Greece.
The bill is entitled " Production, extraction and distribution of pharmaceutical cannabis end products of the species Cannabis Sativa L, containing more than 0,2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), ”and was originally submitted by the Ministry of Development and Investment.
Tackling Industry Details With New Bill
Deputy Minister of Development and Investment Nikos Papasthanasis defended the bill against criticism from the main opposition party, Syriza, who called it "cowardly and timid".
He also pointed out that this bill would see results very quickly, as it speeds up the process of obtaining licenses for the production of medical marijuana in Greece. However, he was quick to point out that there are two separate licenses that one must obtain to cultivate marijuana, namely the installation permit and the operating permit.
Analyzing the articles of the bill, the spokesperson for New Democracy, Christos Kellas, stressed that it is "an integrated framework for the development of the cannabis industry in our country, from which we expect benefits for our economy through investments and the creation of new jobs. "
According to Mr. Kellas, the bill will provide “new options in the areas of agriculture and processing, but most importantly, for those who use the end products of medical cannabis. Medical marijuana can alleviate their illnesses and help them respond better to treatment, if deemed necessary by the attending physicians. "
However, the spokesperson for the main opposition party, Alexis Haritsis, criticized the bill, deeming it "incomplete".
He announced in advance that SYRIZA would attempt to amend Article 14 to propose that the request for a production license also apply to domestic sales and include cannabis extract. This is so that the industry is not forced to produce only dried flower, which would put Greek companies in a difficult position compared to competing countries.