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Cultivation of Medicinal Cannabis in Spain: licences and legality

Cultivation of Medicinal Cannabis in Spain: licences and legality

Cultivation of Medicinal Cannabis in Spain: licences and legality

Narcotics in Spain are governed by Law 17 of 8 April 1967, which updated and recognised as narcotic substances those named in the 1961 United Nations Convention. Cannabis was among those substances. This law, based on the consideration of cannabis as a narcotic, prohibits cannabis cultivation in Spain and grants the State exclusive rights in relation to the cultivation, processing, marketing and transportation of cannabis, always with a view towards export and not domestic consumption.

Therefore, only the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) can grant licences for cannabis cultivation in Spain. The directory of companies with current authorisation is published periodically by the AEMPS on its official page. This list distinguishes between authorisations for cultivation for research purposes and others under the heading “for the production and/or manufacture of cannabis and its products for medical and scientific purposes.”

BHALUTEK SENS S.L.: Authorisation for the cultivation of cannabis plants for the production of cannabis seeds and cuttings for medical purposes.
CANNABASA AGRO AND PHARMA S.L.: Authorisation for the cultivation of cannabis plants to obtain the necessary batches to validate the manufacturing process of narcotic active principles (cannabis extract) for medical purposes.
CÁÑAMO Y FIBRAS NATURALES, S.L. (CAFINA): authorisation for the cultivation, production, distribution and exportation of cannabis sativa and its products.
LINNEO HEALTH, S.L.: authorisation for the cultivation, production, manufacture, distribution, import and exportation of cannabis sativa and its products.
MEDALCHEMY S.L.: Authorisation for the cultivation and production of cannabis sativa and its products.
MEDICAL PLANTS S.L.: Authorisation for the cultivation of cannabis plants to obtain the necessary batches to validate the manufacturing process of narcotic active principles (cannabis) for medical purposes.
OILS4CURE, S.L.: authorisation for the cultivation and production of cannabis sativa for the authorisation request of a clinical trial.

Is it legal to grow medical cannabis in Spain?

Given that there is no legislative distinction between cannabis and medical cannabis, it is concluded that outside the scope of what is authorised by the AEMPS, there is no legal framework referring to medical cannabis in Spain.

However, it is possible to grow cannabis with a THC content of less than 0.3%. This is possible according to Royal Decree 1729/1999 of 12 November 1999, which authorised the cultivation of 25 strains of cannabis certified as having a THC content of less than 0.3%, but which can only be intended for industrial, not medicinal, use. This means that they must be intended solely for the production of fibres or oils. Many sources call these strains hemp, as a way to differentiate them from the illicit psychoactive strains with a THC content > 0.3%.

In reality, it is not necessary to obtain a license to grow industrial hemp in the whole territory of the European Community. However, there are a number of requirements that must be met:

  • The seeds we buy must be certified by the EU as recognised strains with THC content < 0.3%. It is highly recommended to keep the purchase invoice as well as the seed label or certification. This documentation is our legal guarantee for any circumstances that may arise.
  • Register the crop at the Regional Agricultural Office in the place where the crop will be grown, in order to register it in the General Registry of Agricultural Production as a hemp crop intended for the production of fibre or oil.
  • Finally, it would be highly advisable to go to the relevant Local Police station to report the crop, presenting all the documentation obtained during the process.

How to obtain a licence to grow medical cannabis in Spain?

As we have seen, in order to obtain a licence to grow cannabis for therapeutic purposes, you must go to the AEMPS, the only body that can grant it.

Specifically, the AEMPS provides a downloadable form entitled “Authorisation request for the cultivation of cannabis plants for medical and scientific purposes.”

In addition to the company’s identification details, other information relating to the type of activity it intends to carry out must be completed on the request form:

  • Description of the purpose of the crops and the activities to be carried out to achieve it.
  • Forecasted plots and area to be cultivated.
  • Information concerning the source material: origin, strains of cannabis seeds and/or cuttings intended to be grown and approximate amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) content of the plants they produce.
  • Description of the destination and purpose of the cannabis and of the products to be obtained.
  • Information on the authorised manufacturer to whom the crop will be delivered and who will be responsible for its processing, as specified in Article 7 of Law 17/1967 of 8 April.
  • Description of the facilities.
  • Description of the security measures foreseen both in the plots and in the facilities where the activity is to be carried out.

Sources:
boe.es
aemps.gob.es