Cannabis in Macedonia is legal for medical purposes, but illegal for recreational purposes.
On February 9, 2016, the Macedonian Parliament Health Committee gave its approval for the legalization of medical marijuana. The Republic of Macedonia accelerated support and availability of medicinal cannabis at dispensaries in May 2016 after legalizing cannabis for medical use only.
Beginning in June 2016, patients without a prescription were allowed to buy oil with 0.2 per cent cannabinoids or less; more concentrated forms require prescription.
Macedonia was the second country in the Balkans, after Croatia, to legalise medical cannabis. However, the system in Macedonia is somewhat different from most countries in Europe to have taken this step, since Skopje has adopted the Canadian open model of cannabis-based products, rather than setting up production under a state monopoly.
This has led industry sources to be optimistic that Macedonia can be a leader in this area, as development by private companies rather than a state monopoly will encourage those in the sector to offer innovative products and price them competitively.
Macedonia is also expected to become an exporter of medical cannabis products. So far, only Canada, which will be the first country of the G-7 to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and the Netherlands are exporting such products. Other countries have a very restrictive policy on imports and exports.
While pharmacists say the interest in such products is great particularly among cancer patients, the prices are still high for the local market.
However, as competition increased in Macedonia, the prices of cannabis oil available in local pharmacies has already started to drop significantly. The price of oil with CBD 5% concentration was lowered from MKD1,750 (€28) to MKD1,160, CBD 7% oil was cut from MKD2,420 to MKD1,570 and CBD 10% from MKD3,100 to MKD2,100.
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