Cannabis legal status in Latin America

As the world continues to question old frames of mind, the legalization of marijuana makes its way around the globe.

Did you know that in Latin America medical marijuana is legal in almost every country? That’s right, legal cannabis has become the new normal in the region. For instance, now Argentina has legalized cannabis for medical purposes.

However, this isn’t completely new, in fact, the country has been slowly changing their regulations over the past couple of years towards ones where measures concerning marijuana became more flexible. In fact, this is an update of the project that started back in 2017 already, when the use of medical marijuana became legal, although its cultivation and possession remained prohibited.

Now, the Latin American country is rushing to approve the cultivation of medical marijuana before the end of the year, and before the project’s processing time runs out, or else it’ll have to go back a few steps again, and be re-discussed and re-voted.

The new argentinean law foresees the creation of a regulatory agency under the name Regulatory Agency of Hemp and Medical Cannabis (ARICCAME for its anocrym in Spanish). Such agency will then be in charge of regulating, controlling and issuing the administrative authorizations concerning the use of cannabis seeds, the plants’ buds and products derived from them.

When we look at it in terms of economy, Latin America was fast to realize the huge potential that the cannabis industry beholds for them. No wonder why so many countries started rethinking the subject and changing their rules. Considering that the region seems to count with the most ideal growing conditions for these plants to grow, it was no surprise when Uruguay gave its thumbs up to the full legalization of marijuana, yes, both for medical and recreational purposes, back in 2013. Ever since, cannabis has been available at pharmacies all over the country. Later on, by the beginning of this year,, in January, Uruguayan companies even started exporting their cannabis-based products, landing in the neighboring country of Brazil.

At the same time, countries like Ecuador and Paraguay also made way for investigations to take place in the cannabis field too. Meanwhile, in Chile, marijuana has been fully legalized for medical purposes, and when it comes to the recreational use, its not legal but it’s been decriminalized, as well as the cultivation and possession, of course, depending on the amounts and considering that we’re always talking about the personal use of the plant. The country of Colombia is in a similar status as Chile, medical cannabis is legal, while recreational use has only yet achieved the decriminalization. When it comes to cultivation however, the country seems to be quite comprehensive, allowing users to grow up to 20 plants at home and for personal use, not bad at all.

If we were to place any bets for the future of the cannabis industry, I’d definitely suggest taking special interest in the Latin American region. Once they finally get to sort out their legal matters involving the cannabis sector, these countries could turn into big influences for the industry in the world.