What are the opportunities for the cannabis industry in Argentina?
Although the government is still delaying the debate over the recreational and therapeutic legalization of marijuana, several political coalitions affirms that the cannabis industry is one of the future pillars of the country’s economic growth. Many public and private associations are involved in the development of regulations around the legalization of the plant.
“Medical cannabis is an emerging global industry with dynamic growth prospects in the years to come. Our decision is to move forward with a strategic commitment to the development of the sector in Argentina based on the design of a new legal framework around the regulation and promotion of the plant. ” declared the Minister of Productive Recovery in the magazine Apertura.
The government is considering passing a bill based on the creation of a Regulatory Agency for the Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis Industry. This entity would aim to control the use of cannabis, seeds and all their derivatives. Furthermore, the agency would coordinate the regulations with the ministries, secretariats as well as the various institutes involved in this new market.
Globally, the wave towards legalizing medicinal and recreational cannabis has attracted not only the scientific community and governments, but also investors and entrepreneurs. The growth rate of the medical cannabis market is now being driven upwards mostly thanks to the increasing number of countries that allow its use for the treatment of various pathologies as well as the gradual decrease of the stigma surrounding its use.
Medical cannabis as the main opportunity
The most immediate opportunities for Argentina seem to be found in the medical industry – through the prescription of cannabis products or even hemp-derived dietary supplements. Argentina plans to focus mainly on its domestic market as well as on Latin American countries.
The government is also looking at research and development opportunities, most specifically around the development of varieties adapted to different cultivation methods and to different geographical areas.
Currently, the legal framework surrounding medicinal cannabis in Argentina is extremely restrictive. In addition, the cultivation of hemp is prohibited under the Narcotics Act. In March 2017, the law on “medical and scientific research on the medicinal use of the cannabis plant and its derivatives” got approved. It aims to promote the development of research concerning the therapeutic use of cannabis and its derivatives.
Medical research is permitted without distinction between psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis as long as it is intended for medicinal or therapeutic purposes.
The regulatory framework put in place in 2017 is however particularly restrictive since it prevents the creation of companies wishing to produce cannabis, with the exception of the company Jujuy Cannava.
Many reforms are expected in the country in the coming months, so we advise you to stay stunned!