This article is sponsored by CMW Media
Following in the footsteps of Brazil and Mexico, Paraguay has allowed the import of Real Scientific Hemp Oiltm, a nonpsychoactive CBD oil, as a prescription medication.
A third Latin American country has approved a nonpsychoactive CBD Oil known as Real Scientific Hemp Oil as the first legal cannabis-based medicine. The import permit was issued for a 15 year old boy who suffers from autism spectrum disorder and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, an intractable form of epilepsy. This difficult to treat disease often doesn’t respond to traditional epilepsy medications, and prior to their approval for CBD oil, the boy’s family had to import expensive, ineffective drugs from Spain.
The family petitioned the Government of Paraguay for the right to treat their son with CBD hemp oil on the basis that health is regarded as a basic human right in Paraguay, as it is in most Latin American countries. The import permit allows the family to acquire one bottle of Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s Real Scientific Hemp OilTM (RSHOTM) liquid, which contains 1,000 mg of CBD. The application for importation was approved by the Direccion Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria, part of the health departments of Paraguay, and signed on April 15.
“We are extremely proud of the wonderful news that RSHOTM has been approved for import by the government of Paraguay,” states Dr. Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc. “In the U.S., we all have the ability to easily access RSHOTM and many other CBD hemp oil products. However, in other countries, we must respect their regulations and handling of cannabis-based products including hemp.”
In the U.S., CBD oil from hemp, like RSHOTM, is legal to purchase and ship to all 50 states, as a dietary supplement. However, in many other countries, all forms of cannabis, even hemp, are illegal. In just a handful of Latin American countries, CBD hemp oil products have been accepted as prescription treatments for indications like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain.
Real Scientific Hemp Oil has been the first cannabis product approved in three Latin American countries.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. has played a large part in the legalization of medical cannabis in Latin America during the last couple years. Brazil has been subsidizing RSHO for its citizens for over a year since their grassroots campaign to educate the citizens and government on the medical benefits of CBD, recently approving the use of RSHO for epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, and migraines.
In just the past few months, Mexico also approved the first certificates for importing RSHO-XTM, a variety of hemp CBD oil that contains no THC, into the country. The first child approved for CBD oil in Mexico was Grace Elizalde. Her parents Raul and Mayela Elizalde, founders of the Por Grace Foundation, were instrumental in the process of securing the first permit for cannabis in Paraguay.
It is an experience they already knew well from their own struggle to get legal cannabis oil treatment in Mexico. The Elizalde family first became involved with marijuana reform after their daughter Grace was, diagnosed with 445 Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which caused her to suffer from hundreds of seizures a week. Frustrated by a lack of effective treatments, Raul began the Por Grace Foundation to raise awareness for CBD hemp oil for his daughter and others in need of similar alternative treatments. Medical Marijuana, Inc. and HempMeds® worked closely with the Elizalde family and officials in the Mexican government to secure permission for Grace to import RSHO.
Mexico’s approval of high-CBD hemp oil foreshadowed Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s announcement of a new approach to marijuana policy in Mexico for both medical and recreational use.
Since then, the Mexican government has drastically changed direction in their marijuana policy, and when Mexican President Peña Nieto announced his intention to legalize medical marijuana late in April of 2016, Raul Elizalde preceded the President’s decree with an impassioned speech praising the Mexican government’s new approach to cannabis. A similar storyline seems to be playing out in Paraguay, and it fits with the narrative happening across the Western Hemisphere.
Paraguay has had a tenuous relationship with cannabis since the start of the drug war.
Possession up to 10 grams of marijuana is currently decriminalized in Paraguay, but otherwise, the country has taken a hardline stance on the drug. Paraguay has adopted a slash and burn technique to eradicate the thousands of hectares of cannabis growing in the rolling hills of Paraguay’s countryside, and has cracked down on traffickers who move the marijuana throughout Paraguay and over the borders into neighboring countries.
The Government of Paraguay has resisted marijuana reform in the past. This compassionate new approach to the medical use of marijuana in the approval of RSHO is a welcome turnaround in Paraguay’s cannabis policy and may indicate their willingness to further change in the future.
There has been a trend among Latin American countries adjusting their cannabis laws to fit changing public acceptance of marijuana and rising health care and law enforcement costs that strain the budgets of these developing economies.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. has predicted a pattern of continued growth in the medical cannabis market in Latin America. With Brazil and Mexico already making up a market of over 320 million people, Paraguay adds another 7 million citizens who could soon have full access to CBD hemp oil as a prescription medication.
“Medical Marijuana, Inc. is a ‘Company of Firsts’,” Dr. Titus has been quoted saying. They have added one more first to their list in becoming the first legal cannabis product in Paraguay.