By / June 20, 2024

Medical Cannabis in Poland – 9420% Increase in Prescriptions and 13942% Increase in Sales

The Polish Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) recently revealed that 73.4% of Poles support the decriminalization of cannabis. This support is also reflected in the growing demand for medical cannabis in Poland, a sector that has seen significant growth since its legalization in 2017.

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Medical Cannabis Growth in Numbers

In 2019, only 2,909 prescriptions were issued for medical cannabis in Poland, but this number exploded to 276,807 in 2023, marking a 9420% increase over this period.

Growth of medical cannabis prescriptions in Poland
Growth of medical cannabis prescriptions in Poland

The amount of cannabis dispensed in Polish pharmacies also significantly increased, from 33.2 kg in 2019 to 4,659 kg in 2023, representing a 13942% rise.

Growth of medical cannabis sales in Poland
Growth of medical cannabis sales in Poland

Factors Influencing the Growth of Cannabis Interest in Poland

Such impressive numbers can be attributed to several factors. Initially, supply was limited, and many doctors hesitated to prescribe it due to a lack of clear guidelines and associated stigma. Over time, healthcare professionals began to recognize the medical benefits of cannabis, and new sources of prescriptions became available.

A key element was the implementation of the “e-prescription” system, which facilitates access to prescriptions, including for medical cannabis. Polish patients can apply for prescriptions and, after a short online consultation, receive a code that allows them to purchase the medicine at any pharmacy.

Another significant step forward was the establishment of specialized cannabis clinics in Poland. These are run by doctors specializing in the medical use of cannabis and are more likely to prescribe cannabis for pain, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

Recent studies show that 47% of cannabis users in Poland obtain their prescriptions from these clinics, while 32% use the “e-prescription” system. Only 13% consult other specialists, and 7% visit traditional doctors, according to data from Talking Drugs.

Sources of Medical Cannabis Prescriptions in Poland

Access to medical cannabis in Poland varies by region. Pharmacies in smaller towns often face supply shortages. Patients must ensure that pharmacies have the medicine before placing a prescription order.

Deputy Health Minister Wojciech Konieczny recently announced that increasing import limits in Poland for cannabis is being considered to improve its availability.

However, Health Minister Izabela Leszczyna stated that “Poland is not ready for the legalization of cannabis” and that “the public needs to be better informed before such a decision is made.” There are still many challenges ahead, but the country is moving towards a more efficient system for consumers.

(Featured image by Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash)

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First published in Fakty Konopne, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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