The Argentine government has finally laid out a framework for its medicinal marijuana industry after two years of deliberations.
The South American nation legalized cannabis for medical purposes back in March 2017 and it has since been working on fine-tuning the regulation. It has handed control of the industry to the National Seed Institute (INASE), a decentralized agency within the Ministry of Agriculture.
INASE will be in charge of authorizing companies to cultivate, diffuse, handle, distribute and import cannabis in Argentina. The law can now come into effect after it was published under resolution 59 of the Official Gazette.
It stipulates that any company engaged in cannabis cultivation must appoint a technical manager who will be responsible for declaring a record of how much is produced to the government. This individual must be a scientist with a background in agriculture or plant-based research.
It also states that a fine of up to 100,000 pesos ($2,421) will be handed out to anyone that breaches the regulations. INASE has the power to inspect any cannabis production operation to check they comply with the legislation.
Nevada-based Players Network Inc (OTCMKTS: PNTV) has wasted no time moving into Argentina. It has a joint venture with local firm Cannava and the partners have just secured approval from the Argentine government to import seeds from the U.S. to Jujuy Province, a region that borders Chile and Bolivia.
The firm, which is in the process of changing its name to Green Leaf Farms International Inc., said it aims to turn Jujuy into the world’s leading supplier of CBD oil, distillates, isolate,s and biomass.
“Allowing our genetics to be imported to begin the cultivation process is a major milestone at a truly exciting time, not only for our company, but for the entire cannabis industry,” said chief executive Mark Bradley.
It is the first time the Argentine government has ever approved anyone to import cannabis seeds. Green Leaf Farms International and Cannava have secured a long-term lease on a 14,000ha plot near the equator, which should allow year-round growing conditions.
They said the venture will benefit from ideal conditions for cultivation, a low-cost but agriculturally-skilled labour force and a tax-free trade zone on cannabis oils, distillates, and isolates. It is bringing in 25,000 seeds for test plots and the first batch will arrive this month. This will allow the team to figure out which strains react best to the environment.
It follows news that Peru has finally unveiled a blueprint for its medicinal cannabis trade after it also spent a long time mulling over the framework.