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Medicinal Cannabis Europe

Since 2018, Hague has been managing the Secretariat of Medicinal Cannabis Europe (MCE), a pan European multi-stakeholder association that aims to ensure patients’ fair access to medicinal cannabis via the establishment of a harmonised EU regulatory framework.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) restricts the use of the cannabis in the medical field. However, evidence demonstrates that medicinal cannabis can alleviate the pain brought by the side effects of cancer treatments or chronic pain experienced due to severe conditions such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Consequently, the interest of the scientific and patients’ communities has gained ground over the recent years.

The legislation regulating medicinal cannabis across the Member States of the European Union (EU) is fragmented. Members States regulate the licensing, production, distribution, access and reimbursement of medicinal cannabis in different ways. Whilst the fragmentation hampers the development of a European industry under a clear, harmonised regulated framework, the situation also varies for patients. the situation also varies for patients.

The Hague approach

For Medicinal Cannabis Europe, Hague defined and implements a EU advocacy strategy. The association advocates for a European approach on medicinal cannabis towards national and European policymakers. Our services to Medicinal Cannabis Europe comprise the full spectrum of public affairs and strategic communication activities: monitoring, intelligence gathering, stakeholder engagement and management, advocacy and communication.

For instance, Hague promotes a policy pledge seeking the support of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for the establishment of an EU harmonised regulatory framework on medicinal cannabis and for the allocation of research funds on medicinal cannabis under Horizon Europe, the EU seven-year programme for research and innovation. With the support gained from MEPs on the policy pledge, Medicinal Cannabis Europe has organised its international online conference “Towards a European Approach on Medicinal Cannabis” on 13 October 2020.

As an outcome of the conference, MEPs have committed to work on a Parliament initiative report calling on the Commission to take legislative measures to ensure patients fair access to medicinal cannabis.

Within two years, Hague has managed to profile MCE as a reliable stakeholder representing the medicinal cannabis value chain towards EU institutional stakeholders and is now working with EU policymakers on an policy initiative to ensure patients’ fair access.

Dr. Vincenzo Costigliola, President of MCE, stated:

“Hague’s knowledge of the European decision-making landscape, access to policymakers, its strategic recommendations and stakeholder engagement are instrumental to fulfilling MCE’s goals.”

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