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Brazil Approves Medical Cannabis and Denies Home Cultivation

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On Dec. 3, Brazil officials approved regulations for legal, medicinal cannabis products in the country, but they also blocked a proposal to allow home cultivation.

According to Reuters, Brazil is known for its restrictive drug policies, despite rampant illegal drug activity. It was the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency called Anvisa (which acts similarly to the U.S.’s Federal Drug Administration) that passed approval for the medical cannabis program to begin. The new rules will be published in a few days, and within 90 days, will become law. There are also specific rules in place for the manufacture, import, sale, packaging, marketing and regulation of cannabis and cannabis products.

According to Forbes, Anvisa made it clear that home cultivation is not on the table for now. “It should be noted that the present action is not intended for the importation, planting or marketing of Cannabis sativa, but for industrial hemp, which is a plant of the species Cannabis ruderalis, a member of the Cannabis sativa family, also known as cannabis is a different species,” Anvisa stated. 

While this does represent a huge step for the country, it is late to the game when compared to other European countries. Uruguay and Colombia have both legalized medical cannabis and are actively working on dominating their respective local industries. Uruguay was the first country globally to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of cannabis, making huge, international history, and Columbia was close behind. Even Mexican officials are rethinking their legalization policy, despite the fact that they are known for having strict rules on cannabis.

Brazil has taken longer to make progress on the cannabis scene. Large scale protests organized the last time there was a prominent cannabis activist speaking in the country. As of now, Brazilian medical cannabis will only be available for prescription and from specially licensed pharmacies that can carry cannabis. Whether or not legal cannabis will be rolled out in future years, or whether home cultivation will actually be allowed, remains to be seen.

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