Opponents of the bill on partial legalization of marijuana in Cyprus led to several more arguments. In their view, the scheme presented in the bill will lead to the creation of an oligopoly in the domestic market, since it assumes only two licenses for carrying out activities.
According to the text of the bill, the licenses will be valid for 15 years and can be extended. They will provide two private companies with the right to grow medical cannabis and distribute it to state pharmacies. The State Pharmaceutical Service said that after the launch of the state medical service (GESY), marijuana will appear in private pharmacies.
Experts of the parliamentary committee on health have calculated that every five months the state income from taxation of these private companies will be about 45 million euros, which indicates a significant turnover of funds concentrated among the two players of the new industry. The economic benefit is the main goal of implementing the new law, but the possible oligopoly raises questions from its opponents.
Responding to public questions, the committee said that the two licenses would be sufficient for the country of the size of Cyprus. So, in Germany with a population of 82 million people, a license is granted to 10 companies, in Denmark with a population of 5,6 million people - three companies. The restriction of the number of companies also facilitates the control over their activities, the Parliament is confident. The tender for two licenses and all the activities of future players of the new industry will be regulated by a special competent authority. According to his decision, the license can be withdrawn or suspended on the basis of "reasonable doubt", as well as by order of the police, other authorities or the UN because of suspicion that the company was involved in illegal trade or offers illegal use of the product.
Also opponents of the law are not satisfied with the list of indications for the appointment of medical marijuana. According to the public organization "Friends of Cannabis," the authorities "completely ignore the positive effects and international experience." The bill states that such conditions and illnesses as spinal cord injuries, tremors, nausea and various pains associated with cancer and HIV treatment, as well as degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system, ulcerative colitis, Tourette's syndrome , Crohn's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical marijuana can not be prescribed for the treatment of depression, psychosis, "simple" neurosis or anorexia nervosa. The bill limits the dose to patients up to 30 grams per month.
The provisions of the draft law can be changed during the stage-by-stage discussion, which is already being conducted in the Parliament of Cyprus. However, experts are sure that this year the law will not be adopted.