The number of patients who have received cannabis to treat medical conditions in Luxembourg so far this year has surpassed the total of 2019, local newspaper Luxemburger Wort reported.
The data was disclosed Thursday by Health Minister Paulette Lenert in a reply to parliament.
According to the Luxembourgian newspaper, medical cannabis was prescribed at least once to 415 patients in 2019. So far this year, the number of unique patients is 441.
Since prescriptions started in early 2019, 630 patients have been treated at least once with cannabis.
The minister acknowledged that, in the past, importing medical cannabis has been subject to “complex procedures and sometimes long delays,” but assured that the current stock is sufficient.
An assessment of the current medical program is due in early 2021, Luxemburger Wort reported.
So far, all medical cannabis sold in Luxembourg is imported.
Considering the growing demand, the country estimated it would need to import a maximum of 270 kilograms in 2020 – a quantity that was confirmed by the INCB, the independent monitoring body for United Nations international drug control conventions.
The INCB manages a narcotics estimate system that tracks international supply and demand. Because cannabis is a narcotic, countries must estimate their yearly needs for medical and scientific uses, submit that quantity to the INCB and have it confirmed by the UN authority.
Once confirmed, the totals allow countries to import and/or manufacture that maximum quantity in a specific year.
At the end of 2018, Luxembourg created enthusiasm in the industry when the current government promised in its coalition agreement to fully legalize the production of recreational marijuana, possibly becoming the first European country to do so.
However, the promise has yet to materialize in any meaningful way.
Other European countries – particularly the Netherlands and Switzerland – are advancing with limited experiments for the production of adult-use marijuana.