Paraguay’s Decision to Allow Domestic Cultivation Opens Up New Opportunities
Medical marijuana was legal in Paraguay since 2007, but the few patients who qualified faced a slew of roadblocks making accessibility quite difficult.
Now, Marijuana Business Daily reports that the country’s eligible patients will have a much easier time obtaining their medicine, along with some great national economic benefits.
In 2018, the government established a new law allowing licensed producers to grow and sell medical cannabis in Paraguay, but license applications will not be accepted until this October.
Once established, however, Paraguay intends to broaden its accessibility and give producers a chance to sell both domestically and internationally.
The New System
Paraguayan health authorities released some details about the new framework during a press conference.
First, the licensing process will be led by Paraguay’s health authority, the National Health Surveillance, with several other governing bodies participating in the review process. Furthermore, officials will only entertain applications submitted in October and decisions will be announced in December.
Second, any companies who receive a license must “make use of it” within 24 months.
Third, applicants need to have a clear plan in place before applying. This includes a full breakdown of security measures, transportation procedures, cultivation and manufacturing.
Fourth, two percent of all production must go to the government.
Last – and perhaps most notably – the government will provide these products for free to patients who are eligible. However, their eligibility must be supported by scientific evidence.
We all know that many conditions are believed to benefit from medical marijuana, be it THC, CBD or both. However, a lot of these are still being researched and often have no evidence other than personal testimony.
Paraguay is aware of this and is therefore not keen to give out marijuana on the taxpayers’ dime without knowing it is being well-spent. Therefore, recipients will only gain access if they have conditions for which there is “…scientific evidence that medical cannabis could help.”
Health Minister Julio Mazzoleni emphasized that the list of eligible conditions is “in constant evolution,” so previously ineligible ailments might become open down the road. He says the ministry will monitor scientific research as it progresses.
But Marijuana Business Daily further explains:
“[Mazzoleni] said only patients with conditions for which there’s ‘scientific evidence’ – not ‘anecdotal evidence’ – will benefit. Details about the necessary level of evidence remained fuzzy.”
This vagueness could cause problems for patients until specific parameters for solid evidence are identified.
One major decision will allow producers to export their products after undergoing an export application and licensing process.
Naturally, this presents a huge opportunity for the country’s cannabis industry and its overall economy.
Improvements Over Current System
To say that this new system is better would arguably be a massive understatement.
Up until now, medical users had to get their medicine by permission on a “case-by-case basis” for “compassionate use.” However, these products had to be imported, making the prices too high for many people to access.
Home cultivation was also banned until now, making access even more inconvenient for those who could have grown their own.
With the government’s two percent cut to be distributed among eligible patients, affordability will not be a concern anymore.
WeedAdvisor’s Involvement in the South American Market
As providers of critical business solutions for the cannabis industry, we welcome the news of Paraguay’s massive medical marijuana overhaul.
As licensed producers and governments prepare to navigate the complex regulatory and logistical path ahead, WeedAdvisor offers a variety of tools to aid both governments and licensed producers in areas like inventory, compliance, monitoring, reporting, documentation, research and more.