The president has signed into law a bill allowing state research institutes to produce medical marijuana. Unfortunately, as we reported earlier, it is doubtful that patients will gain from this, and the only beneficiary of the new legislation will be the Poznan-based Institute of Natural Fibers and Herb Plants (IWNiRZ). As we have recently written, the introduction of the bill in this form is a scam from which only the IWNiRZ and those associated with the project are expected to profit (read: make money). This is evidenced, among other things, by the fact that much better prepared for such production research institutes, which also want to grow hemp for pharmaceutical purposes - are being turned away and told not to deal with the subject. The final vote on the bill in the parliament was preceded by the work of the Senate Health Committee and a working meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture. We attended both, what we heard there is hardly comforting and also indicates that it is not the patients who will gain from the change in the law. Here is more information.
President signs law allowing state research institutes to produce medical marijuana
On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, President Duda signed a law allowing the production of medical marijuana by state research institutes.
We recently wrote about the planned changes on our portal. At the time, we reported that there were many indications that the planned authorization for the production of medical marijuana by research institutes is in fact a law written for one particular institute, which intends to produce but not necessarily manufacture and incidentally get tens of millions in subsidies for this purpose. We described the matter more extensively in the article "National cultivation of medical marijuana is a scam?", which you will find T U T A J, and with which it is worth reading before proceeding further.
After the publication of the aforementioned article, two important meetings took place for the bill. The first was the work on the bill within the Senate Health Committee, which I had the opportunity to attend. What I heard there caused me considerable consternation. The senators and senators taking part were completely unprepared for their work. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that one of the lady senators expressed her great surprise that the production of MEDICATIONS is to be handled by an AGRICULTURAL unit, and that from what she understood - "the agricultural unit will grow plants, which will then be sent to a pharmaceutical company, which will turn them into syrups and pills" . Exactly right, the politicians working on this law have absolutely no idea what they are doing. They are also completely unprepared for their job and think that pills are made from medical cannabis. When the representatives of the Senate heard that it is the hemp plant itself that is the drug and such cultivation is the production of finished pharmaceutical raw material there was consternation on their faces and probably astonishment resulting from their ignorance of what medical marijuana is. Despite the fact that clearly the Senate health committee was working on an amendment to the law that they completely did not understand - they all voted in favor of the amendments that they did not understand.
The doubts that arose during the Senate health committee and the voices reaching the Ministry of Agriculture saying that this law is a bubble written only so that the IWNiRZ could make money from it resulted in a meeting held at the Ministry of Agriculture. The meeting was intended to address all the doubts and concerns I described in the article "National cultivation of medical marijuana is a scam?" Cannabis experts appeared at the meeting at the Ministry to verify the IWNiRZ's ability to produce medical marijuana. Among those who showed up were representatives of the National Cannabis Employers Association and Cannpoland - who are familiar with medical cannabis cultivation and the product and production line certification processes. Interestingly, when the representative of Cannpoland wanted to outline on the board the process related to registration and batch approval - we heard that there was no time for that now. That's how the whole meeting went - zero concrete data from the institute and an inability to present data showing that the IWNiRZ is either lying or has no idea what it's talking about. I am inclined to the former option. Why?
Dr. Małgorzata Łochyńska, who is responsible for the production of medical dry in the IWNiRZ, when asked by me during the meeting why she claimed a few days earlier that she did not know the final price of their product and would only know it in a year's time (I wrote about this in the article linked above) replied that.... she was lying because she did not know me and did not know who she was talking to! Exactly so dear readers, the lady director responsible for the production of Polish medical marijuana, when she does not know with whom she is talking to on the phone, she lies to her interlocutor.
When a representative of a company that deals with medical marijuana on a daily basis said why the incredibly short deadlines in which the Institute declared to have the product ready and explained the certification path in a cursory manner, the representatives of the Poznań institute said that this was not true and added that "they will arrange it faster". Exactly so my friends, the person in charge of medical marijuana and related procedures says that the certification of the product is 6-12 months and explains to politicians what this entails is ignored. On the other hand, representatives of the IWNiRZ, who don't deal with this on a daily basis and never have, say that it doesn't look like that at all, and that they "arrange" a fast track for certification. Guess whose version was adopted. Obviously, the version of the institute, which claims that 3-4 months after the new law comes into force, the finished product will be able to reach pharmacies. Those who are familiar with the production of medical marijuana even in a minor way know that this is completely unworkable (the stability testing of the finished dried product alone is 3-6 months). However, politicians were more than willing to take the word of the institute's representatives rather than people who have been working on the subject for years.
Ms. Lochynska, Ph.D., and Mr. Daniel Bajas, lied several times in their answers, both to representatives of the ministry and to Mr. Sachajko, the author of the bill also present at the meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture. They said that what is said by people who have been dealing with the topic of medical marijuana for years and have practical experience - is not true. They presented as truth their unsupported claims that we are wrong. Of course, politicians believed the latter - those with no experience. It was hard to resist the impression that this meeting has no point and is mere theater. I remind you that we were not allowed to present concrete data on charts, timelines, etc.
Both Mr. Bajas and Ms. Lochynska were very upset that I dared to ask them questions. Throughout the entire ministerial meeting they didn't even look at me once, both when I asked questions and when answering them they looked at the wall. After it was over, I wanted to exchange a few more words, but the IWNiRZ representation left the room very quickly.
Blocking other research institutes, better prepared
Last month I received information that although the law applies in theory to a wider number of state research institutes, in practice they will not be allowed such production. During an off-the-record conversation with the director of one such institute, who had also expressed a willingness and readiness to grow medical marijuana, I heard that it had been made very clear to them that they were to stay away! Mr. Director spoke about it very reluctantly, poor preparation for such cultivation is cited as the official reason for the refusal, while this is an institute much better prepared than the IWNiRZ for this and with much more knowledge that is needed here.
This is one of those situations where I sincerely hope that I, as well as the entire community of hemp experts, are very wrong and what the IWNiRZ announces will turn out to be true and Polish patients will benefit. However, so far EVERYTHING indicates that this is not the case.
We will certainly return to the topic and monitor the work of the IWNiRZ.