The legalization and use of cannabis are becoming increasingly popular not only in North America and Europe, but also in Latin American countries. Investment flows to the region, as it is positioned as a leading provider of the global cannabis market. But who is leading this movement for the legalization of cannabis in Latin America?
Uruguayan legalization of cannabis caused a wave of more liberal policies and laws throughout Latin America. Between 2015 and 2017, other countries began to follow Uruguay in its legalization of cannabis. Countries included Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and Chile. All these countries have laws that legalize medical cannabis, hemp or cannabidiol (CBD) products. With a population in Latin America of about 620,000,000 people, the cannabis market is emerging as the next global expansion platform for foreign investors.
Chile, which, according to a 2017 survey by the Andrés Bello University and the University of London, is the Latin American nation that consumes the most marijuana, became in May the first country in the region to sell cannabinoid-based drugs in pharmacies. The southern country has a law that protects the cultivation of the plant for “its exclusive personal use and is close in time” and since December 2015 it has legislation that authorizes the production and sale of marijuana derived medicines, although its cost It is very high.
In Mexico, in the middle of last year the decree that legalized marijuana for therapeutic use throughout the country was published, although its regulation is still pending.
On the regulatory issue, “political decisions must be based on consistent scientific evidence, in order to identify which cannabis derivatives are useful, in what dosage and modes of administration, and for which problems specifically,” said Luis Alfonzo, regional advisor on Use of Psychoactive Substances of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Thinking about this, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, signed in July the law that regulates the medicinal use of cannabis, something that he considered addresses a public health issue “while maintaining all the safeguards to protect the general public ”
Argentina regulated last September the law that allows the medicinal use of marijuana, a measure that guarantees certain patients access to cannabis oil and in Panama the debate increased since a legislative initiative to legalize the consumption of Liquid marijuana for medicinal purposes, after what the Government asked in November not to confuse it with recreational consumption.
In April 2017, through Decree 613, Colombia took the first steps in the matter of regulation of Law 1787 of 2016, through which a regulatory framework was created that allows safe and informed access to the medical and scientific use of cannabis and its derivatives in the national territory.
The objective of the rule, it was explained, is not the legalization of marijuana or recreational use, but to regulate its medical and scientific use, which allows the treatment of patients with severe or terminal illnesses.
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