Vice-Prime Minister of Luxembourg visits EMCDDA for talks on cannabis policies

Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Health of Luxembourg Paulette Lenert visits the EMCDDA today during an official visit to Portugal. The Minister will meet EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel and Chair of the EMCDDA Management Board Franz Pietsch. The Director will present the evolution of the agency’s work and its ongoing activities. The focus of the visit will be on cannabis policies, following recent developments in Luxembourg in this area.

Vice-Prime Minister Lenert will be accompanied by a delegation of Luxembourgish dignitaries, including Ambassador to Portugal, Conrad Bruch and Deputy Health Director within the Luxembourg Health Directorate, Xavier Poos. Mr Poos is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the EMCDDA Management Board. The delegation will also include National drug coordinator, Alain Origer.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Alexis Goosdeel said: ‘Together with the Chair of the EMCDDA Management Board, I am delighted to welcome to the EMCDDA today Vice-Prime Minister Lenert and her delegation. Luxembourg is one of the agency’s founding members and is renowned for its progressive and balanced national drug strategies, firmly based on the latest scientific evidence. We look forward to continued cooperation with our Luxembourgish partners as we implement our Strategy 2025 and contribute to a healthier and more secure Europe through better-informed drug policy and action’.

This month, the Luxembourg Government presented a new bill to regulate the self-cultivation and private consumption of cannabis, in a bid to move consumers away from the illicit cannabis market.
It follows plans announced in 2021 for the limited cultivation and use of this drug. Adults in Luxembourg will be permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants (from seeds) per household for personal consumption. Consumption in public space remains prohibited.

During the meeting, EMCDDA experts will provide updates on: cannabis policies within the EU; medical cannabis; CBD/low-THC products; synthetic cannabinoids detected in ‘hemp’ products; and ‘openings’ and innovative approaches in the framework of regulations of cannabis for non-medical purposes. Also on the agenda is the potential cooperation between the EMCDDA and the Ministry of Health of Luxembourg in order to evaluate and monitor the impact of planned cannabis policies’.

German Federal Drug Commissioner Burkhard Blienert will join the delegation after the meeting for an informal exchange of views at the EMCDDA.

Luxembourg contributes data to the EMCDDA, among others, via the Reitox network of national focal points (NFPs). The NFP in Luxembourg — located within the Directorate of Health — plays an active role both in the network and in research in the drugs field. The NFP is currently working with its counterparts in Cyprus, Belgium, Greece and Lithuania on an EU-funded research project to address and reduce drug use in prisons.

During the visit to Portugal, Vice-Prime Minister Lenert will meet Minister and Deputy Minister of Health, Marta Temido and António Lacerda Sales, as well as Portuguese national drug coordinator João Goulão. The delegation will also visit a mobile low-threshold methadone programme and a supervised drug consumption room run by Ares do Pinhal, a non-governmental organisation for social inclusion. Finally, the programme will include a presentation at one of the companies in Portugal which is pioneering research and development on substances based on the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes.