Argentina passed a medical cannabis legalization measure back in 2017, however, that legislation proved to be more symbolic than anything, at least in the initial years following passage. That was largely due to former President of Argentina Mauricio Macri who did seemingly everything that he could to hinder the nation’s medical cannabis program from progressing.
The current President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, issued a decree in 2020 that greatly increased safe access in the South American country. The decree legalized home cultivation, and also set the stage for Argentina’s legal cannabis industry to emerge.
The decree allowed pharmacies to sell cannabis-derived oils, topicals, and other products, and it directed insurance systems to cover medical cannabis treatments for patients who obtained a prescription.
President Fernández recently stated that his country’s legal cannabis industry could generate over 10,000 jobs in the coming years, as seen in the tweet below:
“El desarrollo del cannabis para uso medicinal y del cáñamo industrial nos permitirá generar 10 mil puestos de trabajo que en los próximos años tendrán una clara expresión de perspectiva federal”, dice @alferdez#AperturaSesiones2022
Time could prove the President’s prediction to be too conservative. For reference, Canada’s legal cannabis industry is estimated to have created over 150,000 jobs just since 2018. Canada has a population of roughly 38 million people, whereas Argentina has a population of over 45 million people.
Obviously, Canada’s legal cannabis industry is not an apples-to-apples comparison to what Argentina’s industry will become, however, the comparison provides some context for President Fernández’s recent prediction.
Argentina is home to the second-largest economy in South America behind Brazil and has a GDP that ranks 31st globally. Current top exports include soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, and wheat.