Ukraine legalises cannabis for medical use

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed into law a bill legalising the medical use of cannabis, a parliamentary database showed on Thursday.

More than 6 million people, including cancer patients, civilians with post-traumatic stress disorder, and wounded soldiers need medicine containing cannabis, according to a lawmaker.

The bill signed by Zelenskiy on Tuesday would only come into force six months after it is officially published, and the ban on selling or supplying cannabis for recreational use would remain in effect.

Parliament backed the legislation supported by wartime volunteers in December, but politicians from the party of former Prime Minister Yuliia Tymoshenko prevented it from going to Zelenskiy for his signature. They believe the law represents a threat to the country's future.

The Ukrainian health ministry backed the legislation. It must produce a list of diseases and conditions for which medical cannabis should be prescribed.

The legislation envisages special licenses for the cultivation and sale of cannabis, as well as 24-hour video surveillance of producers accessible by the police.

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

((Yuliia.Dysa@thomsonreuters.com;))

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