The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) will launch an experiment regarding the use of cannabis in specific clinical situations.
This follows the success of cannabis businesses in various areas. Pioneering dispensaries throughout Colorado, for example, have set the stage for the economic advantages of cannabis. Growth in demand for cannabis for therapeutic and recreational use is fantastic news for businesses that intend to occupy those spaces. Illegal Burger, owned by West Coast Ventures Corp. (OTC: WCVC), for example, has pivoted to combine cannabidiol (CBD) with the Food & Beverage industry.
CEO Jim Nixon was initially a skeptic but was convinced by the effects of CBD on his son’s multiple sclerosis. He is determined to use his restaurants to deliver therapeutic benefits of CBD to those who need it. Those in Denver and the 31 states that have legalized cannabis use can look forward to a high-quality, healthy burger that also delivers CBD, which is infused into the burger during cooking. Potential consumers in the remaining 19 states, however, must wait until WCVC gets the green light to set up cannabis businesses in those territories too.
As CBD awareness continues to grow worldwide, the ANSM has announced that therapeutic cannabis will be tested in France. It hopes to have the expertise to launch this project by the summer. The ANSM’s announcement is a victory for all who have campaigned for cannabis use, especially for its use by patients with cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis.
A group of independent experts supports the therapeutic use of cannabis
To make its decision, the ANSM set up a group of independent experts who, in mid-December, decided that it was “appropriate” to authorize the use of cannabis in very specific medical situations. It supports the use of cannabis for:
- patients who are suffering from “refractory pain,” circumstances in which other therapies are ineffective.
- certain severe and drug-resistant forms of epilepsy
- supportive care in oncology,
- palliative situations, and
- cases of “painful spasticity” in multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease that can cause spasms, stiffness and very painful muscle contractions.
Some patients report that cannabis use reduces spasticity in multiple sclerosis. This echoes the testimony of Jordan Nixon, son of Jim Nixon, Illegal Burger CEO, who talks about experiencing positive results after taking CBD. The visible improvement in Jordan’s condition while taking CBD inspired his father to make West Coast Ventures Corp.’s Illegal Burger a very personal mission to help those who can benefit from taking CBD.
The drug Sativex contains two cannabis derivatives – cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As long ago as 2014, marketing the drug was authorized in France to treat spasticity of multiple sclerosis. It remains unavailable in pharmacies, however, because its manufacturer and the Ministry of Health have not been able to agree on the price at which health insurance reimbursement would be made.
Contrast this ponderous performance with WCVC’s Illegal Burger in the US, which can provide a fully operating franchise offering CBD edibles within 90 days of the signing of the lease. Some 30 countries around the world already allow the use of therapeutic cannabis.
Who will prescribe therapeutic cannabis and how will it be used?
Because of the inherent health risks of smoking, it’s unlikely that the ANSM would recommend that patients smoke cannabis. They will be looking at other ways to administer cannabis, including oral administration or inhalation by spraying.
How therapeutic cannabis should be consumed is one of the issues to be decided during four expert meetings to be held from January to June 2019. Other important questions include:
- who will be able to prescribe therapeutic cannabis?
- what will the dosage of the active ingredient be?
- what will the production and distribution channel be like?
For the Addiction Federation, this last point is essential. The Federation said:
“We can see internationally how many self-producers, cooperatives or small producers of therapeutic cannabis are bought by the powerful tobacco companies, with significant risks of lobbying and marketing pressure where public health issues would no longer count.”