Now, however, lawmakers are reviewing an unprecedented measure that will cement the country into the history books of cannabis reform.
Like almost all developed countries, the Czech Republic has some sort of universal healthcare system (with the option for private insurance). To date, however no country offers medical cannabis as part of public or private prescription coverage.
he Czech Republic, however, wishes to change that. If approved, this reform would dramatically improve accessibility to medical cannabis and hopefully inspire other countries or insurance companies to do the same.
Significant Medical Marijuana Discount
In Canada, for instance, many licensed producers offer “compassionate pricing” at their own discretion, which usually hovers at around 25 to 30% for those who fall be low a certain income. The Czech Republic, however, ups the ante by leaps and bounds.
Marijuana Business Daily explains:
“If the measure is approved, 90% of the cost of cannabis would be covered by public health insurance, with a maximum of 30 grams (1.1 ounces) per patient allotted per month.”
Fortunately for patients everywhere, the chances of the new legislation passing are quite high. Tomáš Kubálek, CEO of Czech Medical Herbs says “there is a very good chance” that the government will give the green light.
He also informs Marijuana Business Daily that the reforms will help about 2,000 patients.
An Attempt to Boost Sales
Ideally, we would like to think that the country wants to improve medical marijuana access simply out of goodwill – and its is likely that this is a factor. However, the main issue is that sales are rather stagnant. According to Marijuana Business Daily, the proposed healthcare reforms could turn that around:
“Sales data for 2019 suggest an upswing, and local industry sources expect 2020 to be a watershed year if a proposal to have medical cannabis covered by public health insurance is approved.”
By only requiring patients to pay 10% of the cost, licensed producers will have no problem selling the drug – albeit at the government’s expense. But this is preferable to an industry languishing with little to no financial growth.
Kubálek is quite optimistic about the impact on sales. With 2,000 patients ready to benefit from the public funding, sales are likely to see a significant jump by 2020.
To say past sales trends have been dismal would be an understatement. For example, sales in 2018 fell just under the five-kilogram mark.
Affordability is not the only issue. Only 63 pharmacies in the country dispense medical cannabis – a tiny amount for a country of 10.5 million people and a surface area of almost 80,000 square kilometers.
WeedAdvisor’s Support for Cannabis Accessibility
We could not be more proud of the Czech Republic’s ambitious move. While it may be financially motivated, the outcome will still benefit thousands of medical marijuana users who cannot afford their medication. Even those who do have the money will benefit from the significant savings these reforms will bring.
As the program enjoys expansion in the coming months, WeedAdvisor hopes to forge meaningful connections with cannabis businesses throughout Europe, offering an array of software platforms and tools to facilitate compliance, efficiency and accuracy.