Photo: Freepik

Medical Marijuana Prescriptions In Czech Republic Topped 200 Kilos For The First Time In 2023

Doctors in the Czech Republic prescribed nearly 210 kilograms of medical cannabis to about 8,000 patients last year, about 43 times more than five years ago, according to the State Agency for Medicinal Cannabis (SAKL).

Health Ministry spokesman Ondrej Jakob said six companies in the country have a licence to produce cannabis, and another has applied for one.

According to Ales Hrabak from the Zenplanto company, which has been growing medicinal cannabis in Nelahozeves near Melnik since last year, their hemp cultivation facility has a capacity of up to 1,000 kilograms of dried cannabis per year. Therefore, the company plans to supply cannabis for medical purposes abroad as well, he said.

“The potential of the Czech Republic is huge, probably also thanks to the legislators … The conditions for medical cannabis here are absolutely ideal,” Hrabak told reporters.

The State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) started granting licences in 2022; until then the monopoly was held by a company with which SUKL had a contract.

In the whole of Germany, three companies have licences, but 16 tons of medical cannabis are consumed there per year. At the same time, the Czech Republic and Germany are the only two countries where medical cannabis is covered by public health insurance, Hrabak noted.

Last year, 226 doctors in the Czech Republic prescribed medical cannabis; most of the 8,000 patients were prescribed it for chronic pain on which other drugs were not effective, but also for cancer and the effects of chemotherapy, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Czech lawmakers approved the use of cannabis for medical treatment in 2013, and it reached its first patients a year later. Health insurers have covered it since 2020, paying 90% of the price, up to 30 grams a month.

VZP, the largest public health insurance company, paid CZK 17.2 million for about 3,200 patients using medical cannabis in 2022. The cost of the entire public health insurance in that year exceeded CZK 420 billion.

The current government has reopened the discussion around cannabis, this time for recreational purposes.

According to a study prepared by the Pirate Party, the state could raise between CZK 650 million and CZK 1.8 billion annually by legalising marijuana and taxing it. The Pirates also see savings in the prison and judicial systems if cannabis is legalised.

Other European countries, including Germany, are preparing similar legalisation plans.

An estimated 125,000 people use marijuana illegally in the Czech Republic.

Use of medicinal cannabis in the Czech Republic:


Source: State Agency for Medicinal Cannabis in the Czech Republic

Brno Daily Subscribe
Sign up for morning news in your mail