Albania legalises medical Cannabis

In a further indication of the growing importance of the marijuana industry, Albania has become the latest European country to legalise cannabis for medical use.

Last week, the Albanian Parliament voted 69-23 in favour of a bill that allows the controlled cultivation, production, and export of medical cannabis, along with industrial hemp.

The Albanian government, led by socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama, has previously announced the legalisation of medical cannabis in June of last year.

The legislation will create a National Cannabis Control Agency, which will operate under the authority of the health minister. The agency’s primary mission will be to oversee, regulate, and inspect the cultivation and processing of the cannabis plant, as well as the production of its by-products for medical and industrial use. 

Additionally, the agency will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of this law.

Licenses will be granted through a Licensing Commission established by the agency for various activities, including the import of seeds or seedlings, their reproduction, the cultivation of medical cannabis or industrial hemp, the production of by-products or final products, and the distribution and circulation of medical cannabis-based products.

Applicants seeking licenses must have at least three years of experience in at least three main activities related to the production, cultivation, and circulation of the cannabis plant for medical purposes. 

Applicants, who should own 51% of the company’s shares, must be engaged in the production of cannabis plant by-products in one of the countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for a minimum of five years and should be a holder of good manufacturing practices issued by either the European Medicines Agency or the US Food and Drug Administration for at least three years. Applicants must also have a company capital of at least of about $1 million.