The Czech market for medical cannabis flower quadrupled final yr in comparison with 2019, in accordance with knowledge revealed by the State Agency for Medical Cannabis.
However, the market remains very small.
In 2020, roughly 68 kilograms (150 kilos) of medical cannabis flower was bought to sufferers in Czech pharmacies, in contrast with 17 kilograms the yr earlier than, the info exhibits.
Expectations that the market would see an amazing enhance after medical cannabis was included within the nation’s public medical health insurance in early 2020 have up to now did not materialize.
Experts say that’s partly as a result of insurance coverage protection is just one of many components guiding the market’s improvement.
As Marijuana Business Daily beforehand reported, bureaucratic hurdles and restricted participation within the medical marijuana program by docs and pharmacies signify challenges that weren’t resolved with the introduction of the well being insurance-coverage scheme.
Despite that, the market is rising with improved entry.
October and November noticed document sales of medical cannabis, with about 7 kilograms bought every month.
The variety of distinctive sufferers, which was beneath 500 on the finish of 2019, doubled to 1,103 in December 2020.
The variety of docs prescribing cannabis merchandise additionally elevated.
In December 2019, 78 docs prescribed cannabis. That quantity grew to 123 by December 2020.
Since the start of final yr, Czech sufferers have been entitled to insurance coverage protection on 90% of the retail value for 30 grams of flower per 30 days for medical use, no matter THC content material.
In distinctive instances, docs might authorize portions exceeding the month-to-month restrict of 30 grams for reimbursement, as much as a most of 180 grams per 30 days.
In follow, nonetheless, sufferers obtained roughly 6 grams per 30 days on common throughout the ultimate months of 2020.
Almost 80% of the cannabis prescriptions final yr have been to deal with power ache.
Elkoplast Slušovice remains the solely home producer, with the remainder of the availability coming from Canadian producers Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth.
Tomas Kubálek, CEO of Czech Medical Herbs, a Prague-based importer of medical cannabis, instructed MJBizDaily that “the Czech authorized cannabis market suffers of conflicts of curiosity, the place the nation cannabis company acts as a controlling authority but additionally as a cannabis vendor.
“The agency buys cannabis (grown in Czech Republic) with public money and distributes it, acting as a challenging competitor for importers.”
Poland additionally skilled a big soar in sales final yr, although absolute numbers stay inconsequential so far as worldwide enterprise is worried.
Alfredo Pascual may be reached at [email protected]