On Monday morning, a public hearing was held in the Senate to discuss the bill “Which fully regulates and declares the national interest of self-cultivation, the production, industrialization, commercialization and use and research of the cannabis plant and its derivatives”.
The project would only be dealt with after the parliamentary recess (beginning of March 2023).
Guillermo Villalba, an independent researcher, who was also at the public hearing, told Radio Libre 1200 AM, that the project is about a massive distribution of access rights to the cultivation of the plant, from organizations such as the Paraguayan Observatory of Cannabis, Mama Cultivate and others.
“We seek legitimate access to the plant without persecution. Starting with the National Plant Health and Quality Service (Senave) to be able to register a utility for mothers and people who need the plant compound, ”she pointed out.
Currently, there is already Law 6007/17 “Creating the national program for the study and medical and scientific research of the medicinal use of the Cannabis plant and its derivatives”, however, this initiative only grants rights to companies pharmaceuticals.
In late April, Colombian President Iván Duque enthusiastically announced that Colombia will be one of the first countries in the world to allow the export of cannabis in its most essential form: the flower.
The macroeconomic potential is enormous. Last year, Colombian medical cannabis exports were more than US$5 million, but by 2030 they could be over US$1.7 billion, according to projections by ProColombia, a government business promotion agency, a figure which would exceed flower exports. A more optimistic price scenario points to more than US$2.5 billion, which would even exceed those of coffee (the country’s leading product in non-mining-energy exports). That would translate into 44,000 jobs by then, according to the newspaper El País.
Agustín Lledó, executive director of Cannapar, highlighted that the law established a regulation and therefore the new project is unfeasible.
“These authorize therapeutic use, the law also allows free access to cannabis oil. Companies that industrialize hemp are not authorized to extract cannabinoids. Industrial use is for the use of the seeds and fibers only. From a legal point of view, if cannabinoids are not going to be extracted, it means that it is an industrial activity”, he pointed out.