From 1 August 2022, doctors in Switzerland will be able to prescribe cannabis without the need for authorisation, announced the Federal Council on 22 June 2022, reported RTS.
The introduction of the change, which allows cannabis to be prescribed for medical reasons without the authorisation of the federal health authorities, follows updates to Switzerland’s drug laws.
In 1951 recreational and medical use of cannabis was outlawed in Switzerland. Medical use was only allowed in exceptional circumstances after the prescribing doctor had made a successful application to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
Currently, around 3,000 exceptional authorisations are granted annually, usually for patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis or neurological illnesses. However, the authorisation process is often long and costly. To make it easier to get cannabis for medical reasons, the ban is being removed from Swiss law. But recreational use will remain illegal.
The cultivation of cannabis for medical use will require authorisation and monitoring by Swissmedic, Switzerland’s drug regulator. It does not allow home cultivation for personal use.
In addition, the costs of medical cannabis will only be reimbursed under Switzerland’s compulsory medical insurance in exceptional cases.