Medical cannabis law in Argentina, what good is legislation without implementation!?

Cannabis laws have been passed around the world in leaps and bounds, but sometimes their implementation lags seriously behind. For example, in the Argentinian province of Entre Rios, where legislation authorized a number of provisions for medical cannabis, but the regulatory implemention needed for the law to be of practical use lags seriously behind as local cannabis activists are highlighting.

Cannabis activists and entrepreneurs are reminding the government that the deadlines for regulating the Law on Access to Medicinal Cannabis have been met, yet the legislation taken by the government has serious gaps that need to be addressed.

Organizations belonging to the Front of Cannabis Organizations of Entre Ríos (Focer) are calling for the “urgent” regulation of the Law on Access to Medicinal, Therapeutic and/or Palliative Cannabis in Entre Ríos, No. 10.894.

Entre Rios Cannabis Legislation Leaves Important Gaps

The Law on Access to Medicinal Cannabis in Entre Ríos was passed on 6 May this year, after unanimous votes in both chambers, and was published in the Official Gazette on 21 May. Yet action on its various measures are lagging behind.

The law enables the sale in pharmacies of magistral formulations prepared there, and provides for users to have the autonomy to access cannabis through self-cultivation. For these access routes to work, however, patients are awaiting the implementation of the registry for self-cultivators and the registry for pharmacies.

Furthermoe the law establishes comprehensive and mandatory training for state workers on cannabis. As detailed in article 18 of the law, the enforcement authority “shall convene an interdisciplinary group composed of specialists and representatives of civil society organizations to provide mandatory training on cannabis for all persons working in public service at all levels and hierarchies in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of the Province, including the Public Ministry (Prosecutor and Defence) and Autarchical Entities”. Guess how much has been done towards that goal?

In addition, article 24 attempts to resolve the lack of information on the quality of medicinal cannabis derivatives. The testing of oils is guaranteed as a right for users who need accurate information on the compounds present in cannabis plant preparations. And yet, implementation on testing procedures, training and even labeling has yet to be brought up to even the minimum level required by the bill!

Campaigning for cannabis law implementation and regulation in Entre Rios in Argentina

Activists have launched a campaign called #ReglamentaciónYa to push for the regulation of a law that is considered a breakthrough for the province and the country. The organizations denounce the inaction of the executive authorities in this field and the fact that the stipulated deadlines have expired.

More than five months after the passing of the Law of Accessibility to Cannabis for Medicinal, Therapeutic and/or Palliative Pain Relief Purposes in Entre Ríos, and after more than three months have passed since the 60-day deadline stipulated by the law itself for its implementation, the organizations that make up the Front of Cannabis Organizations of Entre Ríos are demanding the “immediate implementation and regulation of the law with the participation of social organizations in a working group”.

They also demand: “Urgent training for security forces and judicial officials as provided for in the Entre Ríos law on cannabis and rights. For an end to the persecution of users and growers registered in REPROCANN”.

Similarly, they are demanding the establishment of a 50% quota of production licenses for small and medium-sized producers included in the law (cooperatives and mutuals) for the production of medicinal, therapeutic or pain-palliative cannabis.

Other demands are that free chromatographic testing be guaranteed as stipulated in the law through inter-institutional coordination; that employment and production policies be implemented to generate youth employment within the cannabis industry in Entre Ríos; and the development of public policies for the promotion and free training programmes for the agro-ecological production of medical cannabis.

The Front of Cannabis Organisations of Entre Ríos is made up of: -Efecto Séquito AC (former Agrupación Paranaense de Agricultorxs Cannábicxs – APAC); annabis Medicinal Concordia (CAMECO); Cultivadores Terapéuticos de la Costa del Río Uruguay (CUTECOUR); Cooperativa (awaiting registration) Cultivos en Red; Agrupación de Cultivadores de Entre Ríos (ACER); Fundación Yvyra Kuña and Asociación Pensamiento Penal.

(Featured image by Enecta Cannabis extracts via Unsplash)

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First published in unoentrerios, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Andrew Ross is a features writer whose stories are centered on emerging economies and fast-growing companies. His articles often look at trade policies and practices, geopolitics, mining and commodities, as well as the exciting world of technology. He also covers industries that have piqued the interest of the stock market, such as cryptocurrency and cannabis. He is a certified gadget enthusiast.

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