Back in 2017, lawmakers in Argentina passed a medical cannabis legalization measure. Unfortunately, that legislation proved to be more symbolic than anything, at least in the three years following the bill’s passage.
The lack of meaningful implementation of medical cannabis reform was largely due to former President of Argentina Mauricio Macri who seemed to do everything in his power at the time to hinder the nation’s medical cannabis program.
The current President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, later issued a decree in 2020 that 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.
Earlier this month lawmakers in Argentina passed a measure that would create the framework for a more robust medical cannabis industry in Argentina, including provisions for boosting exports around the world. That bill was signed into law this week. Per La Prensa:
The move, backed by president Alberto Fernández, aims to ensure the safety, quality, control and traceability of the production chain as well as create new jobs, increase productivity and generate new exports for the South American country that is facing a deep economic crisis.
Fernández’s government says the industry could create up to 10,000 new jobs by 2025, boost the domestic market by $500 million and increase export revenues to over $50 million.
Cannabis will be used for medicinal purposes while hemp, which is also derived from the cannabis plant, has multiple uses.
Argentina has now become the latest country to embark on a mission to try to gain as much of a footprint in the emerging global cannabis industry as possible.
The President of Argentina’s predictions may seem bold to some people, however, the job creation and revenue goals are entirely possible if the country proceeds methodically and effectively. Only time will tell if that proves to be the case or not.