BREAKING: The Supreme Court of Brazil authorizes citizens to grow medicinal cannabis

The Sixth Panel of the Supreme Court of Brazil approved three people to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes, O Antagonista reported. “The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, June 14 granting two safe practices that are advancing the regulation of artisanal marijuana cultivation in Brazil.”

The case should serve as a precedent for lower courts and the progress of cannabis legalization in the potentially huge market of 200 million people. The decision contemplates the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for personal use and only allows marijuana to be grown for medicinal purposes by prescription. Additionally, this gives home growers a legal precedent that may evolve into broader legislation, as in the case of Argentina, where hemp and medicinal cannabis production is already legally established in the country.

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The use of medical marijuana was legalized in Brazil in 2015, but until now patients could only obtain imported medical cannabis products with strict approval from ANVISA (National Sanitary Surveillance Agency). In 2019, Brazil became the third Latin American country, after Uruguay and Colombia, to regulate the sale of medical marijuana products.

Manufacturers have to import the semi-finished product and are only allowed to work after receiving a special certificate from ANVISA. The import of whole plants is still prohibited.

CBD products and those with less than 0.2% THC can be prescribed as normal. Products containing 0.2% THC or more can only be prescribed for end-stage patients or in cases where the patient is not responding to conventional treatments.

“The achievement of cannabis regulation by (ANVISA) could mean Brazil becoming a key player in the Latin American cannabis market, not only because of its geographic and climatic diversity, but also because of the importance of the market to Brazilian people,” said Silvia Muñoz, former Head of the Government Department for LATAM at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in the Czech Republic, during an interview a few years ago.

Which cannabis companies are already in business in Brazil?

MediPharm Labs Corp. confirmed in September 2021 a partnership with XLR8 BRAZIL, a distributor based in Rio de Janeiro. This latest move will strengthen the Company’s delivery services to Latin America’s largest medical cannabis market.

The two-year agreement would begin with product approval. Accordingly, MedPharm Labs chose to provide a wide range of cannabis concentrate formats for the formulated products that XLR8 BRASIL will subsequently distribute.

“In our opinion, Brazil is destined to become a world power in terms of medicinal cannabis,” said Thiago Callado, CEO of XLRE.

A few months later, in November, CBD company Panacea Life Sciences, Inc. confirmed it was partnering with MyPharma2Go to enter the growing cannabis market in Brazil.

Brazil “is the largest country in South America with a population of more than 200 million people,” noted Nick Cavarra, Panacea’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.
In 2022, ANVISA approved cannabis-based drug Cannabis Sativa Extract Ease Labs, joining ten other drugs already approved by ANVISA in this category. Four of these are derived from the whole plant, while the other six only contain CBD.

Photo by Pedro Menezes via Unsplash

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American cannabis company Medical Marijuana, Inc. established its first pharmaceutical subsidiary, HM Pharma, in Brazil in May 2022. Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s subsidiary, HempMeds Brasil, was the first company to legally import products into Brazil in 2015, utilizing the country’s hardship laws.

“HempMeds Brazil has imported more than 150,000 prescription products into Brazil since 2015 through the compassionate model and we continue to grow at an average rate of 50% per year. Our market leadership reflects the quality of our products, customer care and relationships with physicians,” said Matheus Patelli, CEO of HM Pharma.

Cannabis company Avicanna Inc. completed its first commercial export of 20 kg of full-spectrum, high-CBD psychoactive cannabis extract to Brazil in 2021 through its Colombian majority company Santa Marta Golden Hemp SAS Avicanna products were developed in Canada and manufactured in Colombia.

In 2022, the cannabis company signed an exclusive license and supply agreement with a South American pharmaceutical company to commercialize its proprietary products. According to information exclusive to El Planteo, the pharmaceutical company that signed the agreement with Avicanna is based in Brazil. Avicanna can earn up to CA1.3 million (US$1.03 million) in royalties upon meeting certain near-term milestones.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been republished with permission.

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