Is Belgium next in line to legalise the cultivation of medicinal cannabis? The first step has been taken. On February 26, 2019, the parliamentary committee of health approved a bill for the establishment of a government controlled cannabis agency. This agency is to regulate cultivation and trade in medicinal cannabis.
Currently, the cultivation of cannabis in Belgium is not permitted, even for medical or scientific purposes. The government agency which is to be created, is to control all cultivation and trade of medicinal cannabis.
The Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) announced that, after establishment, the cannabis agency will launch a public tender for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis. Certain growers will be licensed to grow a set amount of cannabis at designated locations. Afterwards the cannabis agency will purchase and distribute the entire production, having a monopoly on the complete trade. The cannabis agency will be part of the FAMHP.
"The approval of this bill is an important first step in the right direction. Soon licensed players will be able to grow cannabis in a legal way," says Anton Buntinx of Corbus Advocaten. The Belgian law firm specializes in the growing market for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis intended for medicinal and scientific purposes.
"With the establishment of this cannabis agency, Belgium is following other countries that are already active on the market for the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use. Belgium jumps on the bandwagon of the ever-growing market for legal cannabis cultivation for medical use." He continues: "The FAMHP can thus organize the cultivation of cannabis in Belgium, without liberalising the market."
In recent years, more and more countries have been legalizing the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use. In the Belgian horticulture sector too, steps have now been taken to be able to play along in this area. In Kinrooi (Limburg) there is already an ambitious player ready to set up a nursery and research center. The intention is that they will develop and produce new types of cannabis for medicinal use on a large scale.