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Argentine president proposes regulating cannabis cultivation

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Photo: DR | AFP

The President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, announced that he will send an initiative to Congress that proposes to regulate the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, announced the news portal Cannabis industry. The President publicly acknowledged that “cannabis has very useful properties” and that “the global medical cannabis industry will triple its turnover in the next five years”.

Fernández warned, however, that the initiative foresees the use of the crop exclusively for industrialization purposes, for medicinal and industrial use.

The initiative of the Ministry of Productive Development aims to establish the regulatory framework for the national production and marketing chain and/or for the purpose of exporting the cannabis plant, its seeds and derivatives for medicinal, including scientific, and industrial use, thus promoting the national development of the production chain.

The proposal also provides for the creation of an agency that will be the supervisory authority and will have the function of regulating the import, export, cultivation, industrial production, manufacture, marketing and acquisition, in any capacity, of seeds, the cannabis plant and its derivatives for medicinal or industrial purposes.

THC limit set at 1%
The draft emphasizes that industrial hemp and its derivatives are excluded from the scope of the application of law nº 23.737 on narcotics and only if the percentage of 1% THC is exceeded, the plant will be considered “psychoactive cannabis”.

The commercial and industrial sector is in agreement with the initiative, as stated by the Confederação Canábica Argentina, which celebrates the measure. Another reaction to Alberto Fernández's announcement was that of José Lescano, secretary general of the Argentine Cannabis Organization, who stated that “it would be unfair for entrepreneurs, after so many years of struggle, to stay out of the productive matrix. We trust that we will articulate with the State,” he said.

In Argentina, the law that is currently in force is No. 27.350, which regulates medical and scientific research on medicinal cannabis, and its Regulatory Decree No. Refractory Epilepsy) and authorizes cultivation for therapeutic purposes.

The text of the regulation establishes a significant legal basis, but much remains to be done and this raises concern in the cannabis grower community. Persecution, stigma and arrests of farmers in Argentina continue to happen on a daily basis and the Cannabis Program Registration (Reprocann) has not yet been applied.

In this way, it is important that the productive aspect of cannabis is incorporated into the public debate and that the entire production chain is addressed. In addition to an application that guarantees clear rules and opens new avenues for the cultivation of cannabis in the country, this initiative paves the way to end the persecution and punishment of consumers.

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