Legislators in Greece have approved a bill to regulate medical cannabis cultivation and distribution.

On March 1, lawmakers voted in favour of the bill, which will allow licensed businesses to cultivate and process cannabis for medical purposes. Land for cultivation must be at least 4,000 square metres in size and secured by fencing. The legislation also stipulates that the processing of the cannabis must take place within the same grounds that it is grown, to avoid extra transportation of the drug, according to state-run broadcaster ERT. Once regulations are in place, people prescribed medical cannabis will be able to buy the drug from licensed pharmacies.

The new regulations have been developed by policymakers over recent months, following a ministerial decision in July 2017 to legalise the drug for medical purposes. At the time, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that “from now on, the country is turning its page, as Greece is now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal”.