Paraguay Congress Legalizes Medical Cannabis Cultivation

The South American country of Paraguay is on track to join its many cannabis-friendly neighbors after their Senate approved medical marijuana cultivation on Tuesday.

The nation had already authorized the importation of CBD oil in May 2016. This latest leap forward for marijuana reform allows for the “controlled production” of cannabis and its derivatives; the change will also permit the importation of cannabis plants and seeds.

Once President Horatio Cartes signs the bill into law, which is expected because of support from the Health Ministry, this new era of cannabis as medicine will be enacted. The change will be joined by the creation of a national research program as well, which will study current and future applications of medical cannabis.

Paraguayans who voluntarily join scientific studies on medicinal marijuana will receive free access to CBD oil and other derivatives.

One of the logistical requirements for the bill to become a reality is the removal of cannabis from Paraguay’s list of dangerous drugs. Medical marijuana regulation will also require anyone with a prescription to register with the Ministry of Public Health, so the country can document those using legal cannabis products.

Tuesday’s decision was celebrated by patients and their families. “We are very happy because this will also allow for the import of seeds for oil production,” said Roberto Cabanas, vice president of Paraguay’s medicinal cannabis organization.

Cabanas has a daughter who suffers from Dravet syndrome and he was paying $300 a month for imported cannabis oil.

Once complete and adopted into law, Paraguay will join neighboring countries that have also legalized medical cannabis including Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay.