On Dec. 5, 2017, the small country of Paraguay became the newest in South America to legalize the cultivation of medical marijuana.
According to Reuters, Paraguay’s Congress passed a bill that will create a “state-sponsored system” to bring in cannabis seeds that will be planted and grown for medicinal treatments.
This past May, the country greenlit the Health Ministry to oversee cannabis oil importation, but yesterday’s developments will improve safe access for patients.
The passing of the bill is huge for Roberto Cabanas, Vice President of Paraguay’s medical marijuana organization, whose daughter suffers from Dravet syndrome. The Cabanas family currently spends $300 per month for cannabis oil.
“We are very happy because this will also allow for the import of seeds for oil production,” Cabanas said.
While the bill was just approved by Congress, growing medical marijuana will not be anything new for many in the country. Reuters has reported that Paraguay is a main source of illegal marijuana brought into other countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, despite the fact that cultivating recreational marijuana is illegal in the country.
With the approval to grow medical marijuana, the country will be following in the footsteps of other South American countries like Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Chile. Uruguay, which is separated from Paraguay by Argentina, recently legalized marijuana for any purpose throughout the country.
Paraguay’s health ministry supported the newly passed bill, making it likely that it will soon be signed into law.