Prague, Czech Republic – The consumption of cannabis for medical purposes has skyrocketed in 2020, with data from the State Agency for Medical Cannabis (SAKL) pointing to a four-fold increase.
According to SAKL figures, nearly 67 kilograms of medical marijuana were prescribed to patients in the Czech Republic last year, compared to 17 kilograms in 2019 and less than 5 kilograms the previous year.
Both the number of patients receiving the treatment (over 1,100) and of doctors prescribing it (123, according recent figures) has increased over the past 12 months.
The significant rise is mainly due to a new law that allows health insurance companies in the Czech Republic to cover up to 90% of the price of medical cannabis prescribed by doctors for therapeutic purposes.
“In most cases, these are patients who are disabled, so the possibility of reimbursing the cost of cannabis treatment is very welcome”, Dr. Denisa Zimova told the Czech News Agency (CTK).
Although marijuana for therapeutic purposes has been allowed in the Czech Republic since 2013, it wasn’t until a few years later that a growing number of people started using it as part of their treatment, with many patients pointing out it was too expensive and that too few doctors were prescribing it.
The Czech Pirate Party is also pushing for a bill to legalize the consumption of cannabis – as well as other drugs – for recreational purposes, which is still illegal in the country (although the possession of a small amount of dried marijuana has been decriminalized).