Medical Cannabis in the Netherlands
A change of the Dutch law on controlled substances (Opium Act) took effect on 17 March 2003. It includes regulations for applications regarding the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes and guidelines for cultivating cannabis.
Applications for an Opium Act exemption regarding cannabis will be handled by the Office of Medicinal Cannabis (BMC) of the Health Ministry. All cannabis cultivated by applicants has to be sold to the BMC. According to the regulations for opium act licences the task of the BMC is two-fold: "On the one hand, BMC must research or arrange for research regarding whether cannabis or cannabis products may be used as medicines; on the other hand, BMC must provide pharmacies in the course of 2003 with medicinal cannabis, so that patients can obtain this with a doctor's prescription."
The guidelines for cannabis cultivation have been derived from the general rules for Good Agricultural Practice of the Working Group on Herbal Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA). They describe requirements for cultivation, harvesting and primary processing, ensuring that the cannabis is produced under conditions that ensure that the therapeutic properties of the end product are constant and reproducible.
An application form for an Opium Act exemption regarding cannabis may be obtained from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Office of Medicinal Cannabis, The Hague.
Please find here the laws and regulations as PDF files.
The Opium Act
The Opium Act Decree
The Opium Act Implementation Regulations
The Policy Rules for Opium Act Licenses
Guidelines for Cultivating Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes
Version Francaise des directives pour la culture du cannabis a usage medical
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