Medical cannabis use has been growing more and more recently, so the Dutch government is responding by planning on issuing a second license for the production of it. Currently Bedrocan, in Emmerloord, is the only company authorized to produce medical cannabis. Within the past five years though, Bedrocan has increased its output by fivefold, reports a NOS article.
Bedrocan received its license 16 years ago from the Office of Medicinal Cannabis (BMC) and produces five strains of cannabis with varying levels of THC and CBD. Their output last year was 2,604 kilograms which was bought entirely by the BMC to distribute to hospitals and pharmacies. Half of the product is actually exported abroad to Germany, Italy, and Poland to name a few. The European tendering process is expected to start in early June for the second license.
Medical cannabis, used mostly as a painkiller in the medical community, differs from the what is sold in ‘coffeeshops’ because it has much more consistent strengths and qualities than the often impure and pesticide-riddled varieties sold for commercial use. Albert Dahan, professor of anesthesiology at Leiden University Medical Center, has stated that “I was fairly skeptical in the beginning, so we decided to investigate and saw that they had a visible effect. I can see there being scope for using cannabis in future.” However Dahan and the Dutch Society of Family Doctors agree that more research should be conducted on the results of using cannabis as a painkiller, especially while used simultaneously with other drugs like morphine.