Currently, cannabis laws in Europe are a bit of a mixed bag. For example, there are some countries where it is possible to be incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses. Meanwhile, other countries have effectively decriminalized marijuana, making it so you can’t really be arrested for weed-related offenses.
However, despite these differences in law, cannabis remains by and large illegal across the continent. But things are changing in Europe, as they are in many parts of the world. Most recently, Belgium introduced a slight legal change related to cannabis. Specifically, the country will now make it legal for pharmacies to provide CBD products to patients with the proper doctor’s recommendation.
Belgian Pharmacies Can Start Selling CBD
As of last week, pharmacies in the European country Belgium have received the go-ahead to begin selling CBD products. The new rules will introduce some significant changes to how CBD is regulated in the country. And as a result, these changes will have impacts on who can access CBD and where they can access it.
As reported by Belgian news source De Standaard, pharmacists are now allowed to sell CBD-based medications to patients. But before a patient can purchase CBD at a pharmacy, they will need a doctor’s prescription.
These two changes have broader implications that could have a number of ripple effects. For starters, it clears new legal space for the acceptance of cannabis-derived substances like CBD. More specifically, the change creates a legal framework in which such substances are allowable.
Additionally, the move will presumably bring CBD more fully under the purview of the Belgian state. That’s because the country is now formally involved in the regulation of whatever CBD products are sold in pharmacies.
New Rules Might Not Change Things Very Much For Consumers
Obviously, the new rules will have many effects on consumers and patients. Most immediately, for those patients with a doctor’s recommendation, it will theoretically be much easier and more straightforward to get the CBD they need to medicate. For people in this category, the new rules will have a noticeable effect.
But that might not be true for everyone in Belgium who wants to use CBD and CBD products. Most notably, the new legal changes will not apply to those without a doctor’s recommendation.
For example, a person who is generally healthy but who still wants to tap into the more general health and wellness provided by CBD might not be able to get a doctor to sign off on a recommendation.
As a result, that person would not be allowed to buy from a pharmacy. In that case, they would essentially be forced to purchase CBD products at some other source, including online vendors. That situation is no different than it was before Belgium introduced the new rules about pharmacies.
Similarly, many people who might be able to get a doctor’s approval might opt not to take the additional step. For people in this situation, it might be simpler to continue purchasing CBD online or wherever they currently get it. Obviously, Belgium’s new rules would not have any noticeable impact on such a person’s consumption patterns.
Ultimately, though, it seems as if the new rules are at least a small part of a much larger push toward more progressive cannabis laws in Europe.