By / July 10, 2024

Assembly of Polynesia Approves Medical Cannabis Legalization

The legalization of medical cannabis in Fenua is making significant progress. Representatives of the Assembly of Polynesia recently approved the bill regulating “certain activities related to cannabis without narcotic properties and medicines containing cannabis or cannabinoids,” with 41 votes in favor and 16 abstentions. This legislative initiative aligns with the commitment made by Moetai Brotherson to ensure that patients in need can access therapeutic cannabis by the end of 2024.

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Regulatory Framework and Implementation

The approved legislation lays the foundation for the cultivation and regulation of cannabis in Polynesia, initially focusing on a pilot phase. This initial phase will involve a limited number of industrial players to define the types of products to be prescribed before expanding the sector to others.

The Polynesian Cannabis Union (SPC), led by Philippe Cathelain, has been one of the main advocates for this progress. Mr. Cathelain expressed satisfaction with the Assembly’s decision, recognizing the significant efforts made over four years to reach this stage. He noted that while the initial text is not perfect, it is a crucial starting point that will allow for amendments and improvements through practical tests in Polynesia.

The Assembly of French Polynesia voted by majority in favor of the legalization of medical cannabis.
French Polynesia becomes the first territory of the French Republic to do so
Mauruuru maita’i President Moetai Brotherson 🙏🙏

Distinction Between Therapeutic Cannabis and CBD in Polynesia

The bill, supported by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture in Polynesia, establishes a clear distinction between therapeutic cannabis and wellness cannabis. This distinction is based on French legislation, which allows a maximum THC content of 0.3% in the plant and the finished product.

Polynesian Health Minister Cédric Mercadal emphasized the importance of semantic clarity to ensure the public understands that the legislation does not permit recreational use but aims to provide optimal medical assistance to patients.

The new legislation includes a plan for a Polynesian cannabis production chain from THC-free seeds, managed by “controlled farmers” to ensure a product free of pesticides and heavy metals, suitable particularly for CBD production. The Council of Ministers will determine the perimeters, locations, and specific cultivation methods through successive decrees. This controlled approach aims to guarantee the safety and quality of cannabis products available to patients.

Nicole Sanquer, a representative of the non-affiliated members, proposed that the law be reviewed after one year to assess its impact and effectiveness. Cédric Mercadal approved this proposal, emphasizing the need for continuous evaluation to measure the benefits for Polynesian patients and the production sector, ensuring good management of resources and regulations.

(Featured image by Damien Chaudet via Unsplash)

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