WITHDRAWN: Government Tender for the Supply of Medicinal Cannabis to the Dutch Market

The Dutch government has announced that its tender for the supply of medicinal cannabis of consistent quality has been withdrawn. This news item was published on the website of the Dutch Agency for Medicinal Cannabis (Bureau Medicinale Cannabis - BMC) on July 13th.

The tender, which was published on the 1st of March, 2018 drew a lot of attention from Dutch and international organizations wishing to submit a bid. Originally, the Bureau Medicinale Cannabis would announce the selected supplier on September 30th.

The agency states it expects to publish a revised tender within a few months on its website and TenderNed, a Dutch tender platform.

On April 8, 2002, the Dutch government legalized the production of cannabis for medicinal purposes. To facilitate this legislative change, the law on opiates was amended. The production, however, is only legal when the Dutch Ministry of Healthcare (Ministerie van VWS) provides an exemption to the producer.

Only one of these exemptions (licenses) is currently in effect. With the new tender, this license could remain with the current holder or be transferred to a new supplier. During the previous tender process, a lot of questions were asked by potential bidders regarding the fairness of the tender. As it was, the tender seemed to favor the current license holder.

A total of thirty-six pages of questions were submitted to the Bureau Medicinale Cannabis regarding the tender, divided over two rounds of questions. The last round of questions was not responded to by the Bureau Medicinale Cannabis, revoking the open tender instead.

As the original language of these questions (Nota van Inlichtingen) is in Dutch as well as the tender information itself, PCS will start to translate these documents over the coming weeks to provide international regulatory agencies and interested parties with a framework for furthering the development of pharmaceutical medicinal cannabis in their own respective countries.

These documents will be published in our coming blog posts over the next few weeks. We will also be providing updates regarding the new tender and the developments which surround this tender.

Kind regards, Julian Koster