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Colombia Legalized Medical Cannabis

Colombia Legalized Medical Cannabis

The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, signed a decree to regulate the cultivation, processing, import and export of medical marijuana on December 22. Medicinal cannabis has technically been legal in the northern-most South American country since 1986, but national production was hindered because a regulatory system was never established by previous laws.

Santos notified Colombian citizens of the new law, which establishes a system for licensing cultivators, processors and retailers, during a televised speech. Cannabis, in all forms, for medical and scientific use is now legal and able to be regulated in Colombia.

“This decree allows licenses to be granted for the possession of seeds, cannabis plants and marijuana,”

Santos announced from the presidential palace.

“It places Colombia in the group of countries that are at the forefront… in the use of natural resources to fight disease.”

colombia medical marijuanaPresident Juan Manuel Santos signing the decree legalizing the use of medical marijuana, next to Minister of Health Alejandro Gaviria, in Bogota on December 22, 2015 (AFP Photo/Juan Pablo Bello)

Now that the decree to regulate medicinal cannabis has been signed, those seeking to cultivate cannabis will be able to apply for licenses through the National Narcotics Council. Manufacturing licenses, for those who wish to process cannabis into concentrates and edibles, will be permitted by the health ministry.

Manufacturing regulations will be just as important as cultivation so that patients can have safe, reliable access to non-smokeable forms of cannabis, like concentrates which can be vaporized and infused foods and tinctures which can be ingested.

“Our goal is for patients to be able to access medications made in Colombia that are safe, high-quality and accessible. It is also an opportunity to promote scientific research in our country,”

Santos said.

The decree also permits health ministry licensed companies to export cannabis products to other countries.

Colombia now joins Uruguay, where cannabis was fully legalized in 2014 and Chile, where the government is also reportedly looking to establish an international sales market for their medical cannabis program, in the group of South American countries which have chosen to reform national cannabis policies.

Government of Colombia Announces Plans to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Government of Colombia Announces Plans to Legalize Medical Marijuana

The government of the South American country of Colombia has announced plans to legalize marijuana for medical and scientific purposes only. The cultivation and sale of marijuana will no longer be prohibited, as President Juan Manuel Santos will soon be signing an executive decree into law which establishes regulations for everything from licensing cultivators to eventual international product exports.

The legalization of medical marijuana in Colombia comes as surprise considering Colombia has, until now, supported a War on Drugs like the one in the United States. Colombia’s medical marijuana policy reform sets the country among others, like Chile and Uruguay, that have admitted that the War on Drugs is a failure.

Colombia has now decriminalized possession of small, personal use amounts of marijuana, but the country has no plans to completely legalize the plant for recreational use.

“Nobody is talking about legalizing anything except for these two purposes,”

Justice Minister Yesid Reyes stated.

Columbia has received international recognition since the 1970s as a cultivator of some of the worlds strongest marijuana strains, such as Santa Marta Gold. Colombian Health Minister, Alejandro Gaviria, shared with Blu Radio that he envisions his country as a heavy global influence in the increasing market of cannabis products.

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