Seychelles published in February a regulatory proposal related to the dispensing of medical cannabis. Once approved by the National Assembly, the text is expected to enter into force on 1 July.
Medical cannabis in Seychelles
In October 2017, Ralph Volcère filed a petition with the Constitutional Court of Seychelles. He initiated this procedure on behalf of his 84-year-old mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and who was relieving herself with cannabis oil. In June 2019, the court ruled in Volcere’s favor and ordered the government to regulate the medical use of cannabis.
The Misuse of Drugs (Cannabidiol-based Products for Medical Purposes) was filed in February and only proposes to regulate patient access to cannabidiol-based products (CBD) for the time being.
The announcement was welcomed by Ralph Volcere. “We are pleased that this has finally happened and it is a step in the right direction to legalize medical cannabis and we hope to use it for recreational purposes at a later stage as well,” he said.
Nevertheless, he believes that the publication of the regulations was only a small victory, as it was restrictive and not as liberal as expected and would not facilitate access to those who need it.
The procedure for accessing medical cannabis is extremely bureaucratic and unnecessary and makes access impossible because the Health Commissioner has exclusive discretion to decide who has access, Volcere said.
Another concern raised by Volcere is that the regulations do not contain a list of diseases that justify the use of cannabis and the price of CBD products. It also prohibits a person from smoking cannabis for medical purposes.
I don’t understand why this has been omitted because many patients smoke cannabis for medical reasons instead of using it in other forms, said Volcere.
He also objected to the fact that the regulations do not provide for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, which means that Seychelles will have to import cannabis.
We want a more liberal and progressive document and we are convinced that the National Assembly will solve this problem, he said.