Brazil approves medical marijuana, as Latin America drug taboo softens

By Atta Ur Rehman Khan - Web Editor & Columnist

04th December, 2019

Brazil has approved medicinal cannabis-based products, the country’s pharmaceutical regulator Anvisa said on Tuesday, becoming the latest drug-ravaged Latin American nation to sign off on medical marijuana.

The new regulations will be published in the country’s official gazette in the next few days and come into law 90 days after that, Anvisa said. It also set out specific rules for the manufacture, import, sale, packaging, marketing and regulation of the new class of cannabis-based products.

Nonetheless, in regional terms, Brazil may be arriving late, with both Uruguay and Colombia having both legalized medical marijuana and actively working toward gaining a firm foothold in the booming multibillion-dollar global market. Uruguay was the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana in December 2013 in a pioneering social experiment closely watched by other nations debating drug liberalization.

Colombia has also legalized medical marijuana, while in Mexico, the supreme court ordered the country’s health ministry to speed up its issuance of medical marijuana regulations, with recreational cannabis also being discussed by lawmakers.

National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) said that cannabis-based products will only be available for sale in registered pharmacies, and with a prescription.


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