Cannabis in Argentina

cannabis in argentina 31 - Cannabis in Argentina

As of today, Argentines can legally grow, transport, and consume cannabis without breaking any laws. This is also true for buying cannabis seeds locally; as long as the seeds meet the country’s updated framework, they are perfectly legal.

Argentina has a long history of economic instability, but that hasn’t stopped the country from being one of the most socially liberal in South America. Argentina was the second country in The Americas to legalize gay marriage over ten years ago, and close to 50% of Argentines supported the legalization of abortion in 2020 – which is impressive for any South American country, let alone one where 80% of people identify as Catholic.

As of 2021, Argentina has legalized the cultivation and possession of cannabis for registered individuals. This means that anyone who meets the requirements of the National Cannabis Registry and the National Seed Institue can purchase cannabis seeds. Read on to learn more about legal weed in Argentina.

2022 – A Year for Change

Since 2022, Argentina’s legal cannabis industry has changed a great deal. A few Approved cannabis seeds can now be bought legally, and the country is starting to accept what some call a “green revolution.” But it didn’t used to be this way– The first moves toward making cannabis legality happened more than two years ago.

2020 was a pivotal year for Argentine cannabis users, as on July 15th, the government released a draft of new regulations to the nation’s medical weed law. These changes include registered patients being allowed to grow their own cannabis at home with no limit set by judicial authorities, a more clear framework proposal for the public production and sale of medical cannabis products,, and free access to cannabis-based therapies . Soon after publication of these proposed changes , individual courts started putting some of them into effect.

A year later, individuals, health professionals, and non-government organizations could sign up with REPROCANN. This is Argentina’s new national cannabis registry (Registro Nacional del Programa de Cannabis). By registering with the program, these people or groups can legally cultivate-, possess-, and consume cannabis. There are really three different ways to gain access  to REPROCANN in Argentina;

  • As an individual who cultivates cannabis for themselves. In this case, you need to get assessed by a medical professional who’ll file a request on your behalf to be allowed to grow, possess, and use cannabis for medical purposes.
  • I am a caregiver for another registered medical cannabis patient.
  • We are an NGO that grows cannabis for our patients.

Buying cannabis seeds legally in Argentina

Recently, the commercialization of cannabis seeds was made legal in Argentina. This means that, in theory, anyone who lives there can buy them without needing documentation. By consuming and cultivating cannabis legally, individuals are taking a significant step forward.

Even though it’s now possible to possess and plant cannabis seeds, you first must register with the REPROCANN.

The types of seeds you can buy are also registered with INASE (the National Seed Institue), however the registration only lasts for a year before it must be renewed. The good news is that there isn’t any specified cannabinoid content in the law, meaning that Argentina’s cannabis industry is open to high-THC, high-CBD and everything in between.

Currently, there are 4 types of cannabis that have been approved, with 77 more under review. These provisions will also extend to grow shops. They only need to meet a few requirements in order sell the approved seed types. This change in policy regarding being able buy cannabis seeds also represents large progress for medical programs and research as it removes the necessity of importing seeds from other countries.

cannabis in argentina 32 - Cannabis in Argentina

How Does Argentina’s Cannabis Program (REPROCANN) Work?

One of the most pronounced ways Argentina’s medical cannabis program differs from those in other nations is that there is no avenues for automatically qualifying based on a list of pre-existing conditions.

Different from most other countries, in Argentina any patient can register and use cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Take the United States as an example: only patients with a terminal illness such as cancer or AIDS are allowed to get approval for medicinal cannabis usage. However, some of the more common conditions people treat with therapeutic cannabis in Argentina include:

  • Sleep improvements
  • Relief from generalized anxiety and stress
  • Improved appetite
  • Mild pain management

REPROCANN in Argentina allows patients to grow an excessive amount of cannabis, both indoors (no larger than 6m2) and outdoors (no larger than 15m2). For example, people enrolled are allowed to have nine flowering plants at a time.

An individual can have possession of up to 40g of dried cannabis flowers in public, or 6 30ml bottles of cannabis tincture/extract. There is no limit on the amount a patient can possess in their home. On the other extreme, an NGO can grow and be in possession of 9 plants per patient with a maximum number 150 registered patients.

At REPROCANN, we treat all cannabis strains equally, regardless of their THC or CBD content. That means that patients can possess and cultivate any type of cannabis they want, without restriction.

What other benefits are there to REPROCANN in Argentina?

Besides being able to grow and possess cannabis legally, REPROCANN patients can also choose from a variety of other treatments, including:

  • You can now transport cannabis by airplane or any other means of transportation across Argentina.
  • If anyone steals our plants or tinctures, we demand legal consequences.
  • You can get prescriptions for cannabis or cannabis derivatives from public health professionals.

What Are the Downfalls of Argentina’s REPROCANN?

Although it is legal to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes in Argentina, the REPROCANN regulatory framework has been highly criticized by many. Some of these criticisms include that only therapy-related uses are legalized and not fully decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis for everyone. Getting caught with plants or any amount considered “large” by a police officer can result in an arrest and a court hearing.

One frequent gripe with Argentina’s REPROCANN policy is that it doesn’t offer a stance on edibles or cannabis extracts, like hash, for example. Even though REPROCANN has no regulations regarding how patients consume cannabis, its directions only mention cannabis plants, dried flowers, and liquid tinctures.

One of the most significant issues with Argentina’s REPROCANN is that law enforcement has not been properly informed about the program or patients’ legal rights. Even now, registered REPROCANN patients are being arrested for transporting or growing cannabis by officials who are unaware of the program and its parameters.

What Was Argentina’s Stance on Cannabis Before REPROCANN?

Argentina has had a long-standing love affair with cannabis. The drug is widely consumed by people of all ages, and it forms an integral part of the country’s culture. While Uruguay was the first South American country to legalise cannabis, Argentina’s laws are much more confusing.

According to article 77 in Argentina’s penal code, cannabis is an illegal substance and can result in a jail sentence of up to 14 years if caught producing, selling, or simply possessing it. In 2009, however,. an iconic Supreme Court ruling known as the Arriola Ruling declared that it was unconstitutional to penalize the possession of drugs for personal consumption.

The Supreme Court ruled that the private consumption of drugs is protected by article 19 in Argentina’s constitution. This protecting allows for drug usage as long as it doesn’t break any public order, harm anyone, or go against morals. Even though this Supreme Court ruling is now known as the Arriola Failure, it didn’t manage to produce any legislative changes concerning drug laws in Argentine.

Although there have beenPrevious to 2021, a few different attempts were made to change Argentina’s perspective on cannabis. The most notable event happening in 2017 when bill 27.350 was put into place; this allowed for legal access of therapeutic cannabis with some regulatory frameworks surrounding it.

However, for quite some time the law has only applied to those with extremely rare forms of epilepsy that fail to respond to other treatments. These patients were required to import Charlotte’s Web brand tinctures from another country and pay taxes amounting up to 50% of the product’s value.

After REPROCANN was created, the Argentinian government also announced their plans to draft changes to federal laws surrounding the industrial use of cannabis and hemp. These bills haven’t been confirmed yet, but the government is expressing interest in opening up Argentina’s legal cannabis industry due to its potential economic benefits.

Cannabis in Argentina: A Space of Constant Growth

Both Argentinian culture and medical practice include the use of cannabis, and federal legislation is starting to catch up with this fact. This makes it easier for people to access cannabis for a wide variety of purposes.

Although cannabis laws in Argentina are not ideal and do not allow people who want access to the plant to register, recent years have seen some changes worth celebrating. With time, maybe Argentina can become a role model for more liberal policy.

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