From May this year, a pilot program was launched in Chile to start selling cannabis in Pharmacies.
In Chile recreational use of cannabis is still illegal. However, currently, possessing no more than a quarter of an ounce is decriminalised – some may say they’ve always been a cannabis-friendly country. A citizen may even grow weed if they can prove that it is being cultivated exclusively for personal consumption and in the short term. Buying, selling, and transporting cannabis remains illegal. It is also illegal to consume cannabis in public. But now you’ll be able to buy your medical cannabis in pharmacies across Chile.
Chile Medical Cannabis Status Timeline
On the medical front, Chile is much more proactive. Chile has been planting and cultivating cannabis for medical purposes since 2014. In December 2015 Chilean President Michelle Brachelet signed a measure legalising the use of medical cannabis. The measure moved marijuana from the list of hard drugs and re-categorizes it as a soft drug, on the same list as alcohol. The measure also permits Cannabis in pharmacies.
Moving forward to 2016, Chile opened the largest medical marijuana farm in Latin America. The projected harvest between March and May of 2016 was approximately 1.66 tons of cannabis – enough to roll approximately 30 million joints. The harvest will go to treat 4,000 patients for free. Some of the harvest will also be dedicated for use by universities and laboratories to test marijuana-based therapies for medicinal purposes. Specifically, the research will test the efficacy of cannabis in treating cancer, chronic pain, and epilepsy.
The Chilean Congress is also debating a bill that will allow citizens to grow their own plants. It has been approved by congress in July but still needs to be approved by the health commission and the Senate.
Chile Became the First Country to Sell Medical Cannabis in Pharmacies
Chile also became the first Latin American country to sell cannabis-based medicines in pharmacies. The pilot program, which was launched back in May in the Chilean capital city of Santiago, will make the T100 and TC100 chronic pain relief medicines available. The product is produced in Canada and exported to Chile.
The program is a partnership between Chile’s Alef Biotechnology and Canada’s Tilray and is conducted under the supervision of Chile’s National Health Institute.
The president of Alef Biotechnology Roberto Roizman said that they will evaluate the viability of the program after six months. The evaluation will determine if the product can be produced in Chile and exported.
The cost of the treatment will cost $310 and last for about a month.
There is pushback, however, as some pharmacies are refusing to sell the medical marijuana products. They are citing security concerns, increased paperwork, and opposition from customers. So far, only 50 of 1,200 pharmacies are registered. One pharmacy owner, Marcelo Trujillo, says he sees no need to compete with those already selling weed in the neighbourhood.
If you do decide to get your cannabis in pharmacies in Chile, do not expect to be able to vape it. While vaporising is the best way to get all of the active cannabinoids, using a vape pen remains illegal in Chile.
Chile’s example is being copied by other countries. Uruguay followed suit in July of this year but took their legalization a step further and completely legalized recreational marijuana. All it takes is a simple visit to the pharmacy.
Keep in mind, however, that if you want to smoke pot recreationally, you are going to have to register with the government and have your fingerprint scanned every time you buy. The intention is to regulate the sale of the drug to prevent overindulgence.
Uruguay, a small South American nation that is known for its low crime rates is the first industrialised nation in the world to legalize the consumption of cannabis for recreational use nationwide, high standard of living and political stability.
Argentina is not Far Behind
Argentina is yet another South American nation that joined the cannabis club. Back in March of this year, Argentina’s senate gave final legislative approval to a bill that legalized the use of cannabis oil and other derivatives for medical purposes. The regulatory framework was established for the state to begin prescribing the medicine and distributing it to patients.
The legislation also creates a medical marijuana research program at the country’s health ministry. Patients who join the program must be guaranteed free access to cannabis oil and other derivatives.
As more and more industrialized nations look towards the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, little by little misconceptions about marijuana are breaking and it is paving the framework for other countries to do the same. Canada has upcoming legislation taking effect in July of 2018 that will legalize recreational cannabis nationwide. United States lawmakers are now calling for the reclassification of marijuana to a lower schedule, which will decriminalize the drug and allow for more medical testing.
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Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points