Argentina to Give Some Patients Free Access to Medical Cannabis

Argentina officials are moving forward with a planned overhaul of the country’s medical cannabis system; the new rules would provide free options for medical cannabis patients and allow anyone who registers with the government to grow for personal use.

Full story after the jump.

Officials in Argentina are moving forward with plans to give medical cannabis to patients for free, allow for personal cultivation to anyone who registers with the government, and authorize production of cannabis topicals, oils, and creams, according to a Bezinga report citing Argentinian news organizations. The new regime prioritizes cannabis research and development by laboratories, universities, and other institutions.

The reforms will also eventually allow nationwide cannabis production.

Personal cultivators will be allowed to grow individually or as part of a group and while cannabis growers will have to register with the government, they will remain anonymous. Plant counts have not yet been defined.

While Argentina legalized medical cannabis in 2017, the program has been criticized for lack of clarity which has left most patients to rely on illegal sellers or be without treatment. The nation’s current qualifying condition list for medical cannabis access only includes refractory epilepsy in children; however, the new rules will likely expand that list.

Facundo Garreton, a former lawmaker in Argentina and director of YVY Life Sciences, a medical cannabis company from the neighboring country of Uruguay, which has legalized recreational cannabis use, said he hopes the reforms are “the start of a path towards regulation of the entire supply chain.”

“Knowing that cannabis can alleviate many people’s suffering and not do anything about it, that’s the true crime. … Good regulation will help to know the needs of every person, what to buy, where to buy it, while at the same time controlling the product’s quality.” – Garreton via Bezinga

Argentinian health officials met with key lawmakers on Wednesday to finalize details on the cannabis reform and medical cannabis expansion bill. The country has a population of 44 million making it one of the region’s most intriguing markets for cannabis.

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