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Tag: argentina

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Argentina’s Supreme Court Upholds Medical Cannabis Cultivation Rights

Medical cannabis advocates have tried for many years to get home cultivation officially approved in Argentina. Unfortunately, it has been a very slow process.

As we have mentioned in previous coverage, in 2017 lawmakers in Argentina passed a law that legalized cannabis for medical use. For the next few years, the new law essentially proved to be nothing more than symbolic as industry rules and regulations went nowhere.

In late 2020 Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández signed a decree calling for the legalization of home cultivation along with allowing pharmacies to sell medical cannabis products.

The catch to the 2020 decree, which is essentially the same catch that has hindered Argentina’s medical cannabis program since 2017, is that it relied on the creation of rules and regulations pertaining to licenses. Before someone can cultivate medical cannabis in Argentina they must first obtain a license from the government, and there essentially is no effective licensing process in place.

Medical cannabis advocates have pursued various legal remedies, and Argentina’s Supreme Court recently rendered a landmark decision that provides some legal protections for home cultivation. Per El Destape (auto-translated to English):

The Supreme Court of the Nation unanimously ratified the decriminalization of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and made it compulsory to register it in the official records for those who want to carry out this practice . The highest court ruled in this regard when evaluating the proposals of the Medicinal Cannabis Moms Association (Macame) of Santa Fe, which had questioned the constitutionality of the rules regarding the self-cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use by minors in their care.

“The public health and safety reasons involved are sufficient to justify the State issuing administrative authorizations within the framework of Law 27,350 for self-cultivation and the production of products derived from cannabis for medicinal purposes. This determines, in turn, that the intervention of the State in this area does not imply an unjustified interference in the personal autonomy of article 19 of the National Constitution”, he stressed.

Ultimately, what is needed is a fully functioning medical cannabis program in Argentina so that there is no room for doubt when it comes to the rights of medical cannabis patients.

Every patient should be able to cultivate cannabis legally based on codified laws that law enforcement is mandated to follow. Whenever patients have to rely on case law in the absence of codified law, it always creates situations that are ripe for selective enforcement which no patient should ever have to deal with.

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Argentina Legalizes Medical Cannabis And Hemp To Revive Economy

The Latin American country has high hopes that the legalization of cannabis will bring much-needed cash and jobs to the country after Covid

At the beginning of May, the Argentine Congress passed a bill to establish a legal framework for the establishment of a domestic cannabis industry (cultivation and sale) as well as the export of both medical cannabis and industrial hemp.

The move was backed by the country’s president, Alberto Fernandez, who hopes to create new jobs, increase productivity, and create new kinds of exports for the country, which is now facing a deep economic crisis, post-Covid.

The government believes that the industry could create about 10,000 new jobs in the next two years and create $500 million worth of revenue for the country. They hope that of this amount, $50 million will also be exported.

The country has 8 different varieties of cannabis seeds so it will not have to import them, or seedlings.

Cannabis – A Latin American Export Commodity?

Argentina of course is not the only country now exploring the cultivation of cannabis for economic development purposes – not only in Latin America but globally.

At this point, with the exception of Venezuela, Bolivia, French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana, the entire continent is engaged in medical cultivation of some kind. Even in these countries, the discussion is moving forward toward other things. Uruguay of course is the only country on the continent where recreational use has been legalized. Indeed, Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize recreational use.

Beyond this, many countries in Africa are now looking to the crop to boost domestic income via exports and for job creation, starting with South Africa.

The question is, of course, will the demand for cannabis actually be this great, globally. Beyond that, there are many questions about the current sustainability of the industry in developing countries. Yes, the prices of cannabis need to drop, dramatically, but there is also likely to be a “race to the bottom” as countries compete with each other for more valuable markets, like Europe.

In many countries on the African continent, cannabis is increasingly being seen as a replacement for tobacco.

In Latin America, in particular, however, the sustainability of the industry, particularly when considering that rain forests could be further decimated to grow the crop, is still in question.

One thing is for sure, however. “South” economies are now in the middle of a green rush. The question is, however, will this return the gold they hope for?

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The Cannabis Industry Moves Forward In Argentina

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.

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Argentina Moves Forward With Medical Reform

April has been a big month for the country as it has established both a federal agency for the control of cannabis and non-profit patient collectives

Argentina has had a big April so far when it comes to cannabis reform – and all before 4/20. That said, many in the country will certainly have a reason to celebrate global cannabis day this year – simply because medical reform has moved forward fast this month.

After passing formal federal medical reform in 2020, it has taken two years to get to the next step (mostly because of Covid). However, this month has made up for a lot of that lag time.

At the beginning of April, the government authorized the existence of non-profit patient collectives which seem to be on track to operate much like the earlier versions of the same in North America.

Last week, the government also moved forward on establishing a formal agency to oversee the entire industry and established a special new category for plant-based cannabis medicines.

Doctors will still have to write prescriptions for those products which have over 0.3% THC.

Cannabis Reform in The Spanish Speaking World

Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world by landmass, and this month’s moves are likely to influence the entire cannabis reform discussion in every Spanish-speaking country. This includes not only those in Latin America, but also in Europe.

What is striking about the fast moves this month to formalize the industry in Argentina is how fast the government moved. In stark contrast, Spain has resisted cannabis reform at a federal level even as the question has moved forward in other parts of Europe. Even France has a national medical cannabis trial underway. However, in Spain, only four federal licenses have been granted for the production of high THC cannabis – and all of this product is for export.

In the meantime, the cannabis clubs have remained outside the purview of federal reform, leaving them in a grey area. While these are technically “non-profit” they are far from being organized patient collectives. Further, there is no real protection for them under the law.

It will be interesting to see if the Argentinian industry, which looks like it is taking a page out of the North American cannabis industry model, will develop in a similar way.

In the meantime, the welcome changes to the law here mark yet another country that has succumbed to the cannabis revolution.

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Argentina’s Ministry Of Health Issues New Medical Cannabis Rules

Argentina is one of many countries around the world that is ramping up medical cannabis industry efforts. Medical cannabis was first legalized in Argentina back in 2017.

The initial legislation that was passed proved to be largely symbolic, with former President of Argentina Mauricio Macri doing seemingly everything that he could to thwart the nation’s medical cannabis program from getting off the ground.

That changed in 2020 when Argentina’s new President, Alberto Fernández, issued a decree that greatly increased safe access in the South American country. 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.

Argentina’s emerging medical cannabis industry has grown slowly, and that is largely due to the lack of the country bringing the nation’s cannabis non-profits onboard. Argentina, like many countries, is home to a number of semi-underground medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives.

Argentina’s Ministry of Health made further tweaks to the nation’s medical program this week that will further help to improve safe access and allow non-profits to obtain licenses, as outlined by excerpts below from Infobae:

After two years of meetings, requests, consultations and proposals, the National Ministry of Health announced that cannabis organizations will be able to legally cultivate marijuana plants for medicinal purposes for their members.

Organizations will be allowed to grow in15 square meters in different outdoor areas and up to 6 square meters in indoor crops (also called by its name in English, indoor ), per person as long as they are duly authorized. Within the limits of that surface, it will be possible to have up to nine plants flowered by each user.

In short, the rules for organizations mirror those established for private users in a resolution published last year. This is the same permitted area for cultivation, the same number of plants and the same permit to transport buds or oil within Argentine territory: between one and six 30-milliliter jars or up to 40 grams of dried flowers .

It will be interesting to see how these new rules may affect a pending court case that is currently before the Argentina Supreme Court. Part of the 2020 decree legalized home cultivation, but only with a license. Currently, there are no home cultivation licenses issued in Argentina.

Ultimately, only time will tell if the new rules affect the Court’s reasoning in any major or minor way. In the meantime, patients will at least be able to legally work in conjunction with a non-profit to obtain medical cannabis without fear of prosecution.

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Argentina’s Supreme Court May Decriminalize Cannabis Cultivation

In 2017 lawmakers in Argentina passed a law that legalized cannabis for medical use. For the next few years, the new law essentially proved to be nothing more than symbolic as industry rules and regulations went nowhere. That had a direct, negative impact on patients who had no way of legally obtaining medicine.

In late 2020 Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández signed a decree calling for the legalization of home cultivation along with allowing pharmacies to sell medical cannabis products. Part of the decree also called on insurance companies to cover the costs of medical cannabis.

The catch to the 2020 decree, which is essentially the same catch that has hindered Argentina’s medical cannabis program since 2017, is that it relied on the creation of rules and regulations pertaining to licenses. Before someone can cultivate medical cannabis in Argentina they must first obtain a license from the government, and there is no licensing process in place.

Medical cannabis advocates are understandably frustrated with the situation, and some of those advocates are pursuing legal remedies. Argentina’s Supreme Court will hear arguments next month regarding the current status of home cultivation. Per excerpts from Mugglehead:

The court public hearings on April 27 and 28 will discuss whether it’s unconstitutional to criminalize cannabis cultivation for medical purposes. It will cover whether family members or organizations should be allowed to cultivate medical cannabis for patients, including children.

MAMAS Cannabis-Santa Fe (MACAME) — an organization of mothers who are advocating the therapeutic use of cannabis in Argentina — has been summoned to the hearing. Other professionals and organizations can sign up to speak as well if they have proven knowledge about medical cannabis. MACAME has put together a template to help people through the process if they want to speak.

The same group making the requests in this case made a similar request back in 2018 and it was rejected, however, a lot has changed since that time at the global level. Since 2018 Mexico, South Africa, and Italy have all had their Supreme Courts rule that cannabis prohibition as it applied to personal use (including cultivation) was unconstitutional.

The argument that is being made in Argentina also somewhat echoes what happened in the United States decades ago. When cannabis prohibition was first instituted in the United States it was via a ‘stamp tax’ which essentially meant that you could only have cannabis if you had a federal license, knowing that no such licenses would ever be created.

That public policy was eventually shot down by the Court in the United States because it’s a catch-22 that people could never get around. Something similar is occurring in Argentina, although only time will tell which way the Court rules on the specific arguments being made in this particular case.

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President Of Argentina Predicts Nation’s Cannabis Industry Will Create “10,000 Jobs”

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:

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.

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