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Spurred by sanctions, State Duma passes bill enabling domestic cannabis and opium cultivation for medical purposes

Source: RIA Novosti

Russia’s State Duma has adopted a bill that would enable the domestic cultivation of plants that contain narcotic substances for medical use. The proposal covers 11 plants, including opium poppies and cannabis. Its sponsors pointed to economic constraints caused by international sanctions in their arguments for the bill. They noted that nine of the 10 companies that control “the market for pharmaceutical substances for the production of opiate drugs” are located in countries that have introduced sanctions against Russia, making an independent opium production mechanism vital for “national security.”

The bill expands upon the three purposes for which the 11 plants in question can currently be grown legally in Russia: they can already be cultivated for scientific, educational, or other specialized professional purposes.