As of this Wednesday, Argentina will now allow home cultivation of cannabis and the sale of cannabis oils and topicals in pharmacies, which has not been included under the legal cannabis laws so far. Cannabis patients will also now have access to their medicine free of charge.
This new regulation was drafted by the Argentinian Health Minister and other key stakeholders, and represents a huge step forward for cannabis in Argentina.
On Wednesday, the Health Minister met with key actors to close details on a draft regulation that will allow for home cultivation of cannabis and the production of oils and topicals by local pharmacies that can then be sold to qualified patients.
Facundo Garreton, director of YVY Life Sciences, a medical cannabis company from the neighbouring country of Uruguay, said that this is huge for the country, which until now has been overlooked as a cannabis hotspot.
“Knowing that cannabis can alleviate many people’s suffering and not do anything about it, that’s the true crime,” said Facundo Garreton, director of YVY Life Sciences cannabis company in Uruguay and former House rep for Argentina’s province of Tucumán. “Good regulation will help to know the needs of every person, what to buy, where to buy it, while at the same time controlling the product’s quality. We hope this is the start of a path towards full regulation of the entire supply chain.”
The Evolution of Cannabis in Argentina
While Argentina first legalized medical cannabis back in 2017, although the news made major headlines, the law didn’t cover patients’ needs, according to local activists and medical patients. It wasn’t very clear, and most patients still ended up relying on the legal market. This will clarify a lot of the former, gray areas that people will be dealing with, as well as make cannabis a lot more accessible for more folks.
Now, under the new law, growers can either grow the plant themselves or go through a growth network. Limits for patients are still being worked out by the government, but they are on the way. The country will also eventually develop a plan for large-scale production and cultivation.
“Cannabis is the answer to our therapies. But as we’re seeing all over the world, it also has the potential to create jobs in many sectors, not just in medicine, but also in agriculture, commerce and manufacturing,” said Gabriela Cancellaro, the NGO’s head of communications.
Argentina has neighbors like Brazil and Uruguay that have blooming cannabis markets, so now is a great time for Argentina to tap into its own market and provide cannabis to citizens.
So far, the list of qualifying conditions for cannabis has not been released, but activists are expecting it to cover more than the current list, which is limited and only allows cannabis use for children with epilepsy.
Now, thanks to this change, cannabis users in the country will be able to access cannabis as medicine legally, instead of going through the illicit market. Soon, Argentina may be able to catch up with surrounding countries when it comes to their cannabis economy.