The wave of cannabis reform that began rocking the world when jurisdictions within the United States and countries such as Uruguay and Canada legalized marijuana in various forms has now arrived in Brazil. Earlier this week, a top Brazilian court gave a trio of patients authorization to grow their own cannabis at home for medical treatment. Although the country’s health ministry still hasn’t issued regulations for at-home cultivation of cannabis, this ruling may set a precedent that could be applied across the country.
A panel of five judges from the Brazil Superior Court of Justice all agreed that the medical marijuana patients in question should be allowed to grow marijuana at home and extract its oil to use as a pain medication. According to Judge Rogério Schietti, the government’s failure to issue scientific guidelines on the issue forced the panel’s hand. He called most of the arguments against cannabis reform “moralistic,” arguing that they tended to have a religious nature and were based on false truths and stigmas.
This sense of moralism has delayed the development of legislation to regulate at-home cultivation and clouded the minds of local judges. He emphasized that the country needed to end this prejudice against marijuana and take a scientific position on cannabis reform, not a religious one.
Judge Antonio Saldanha, another member of the panel, added that the government’s delay in issuing guidelines for at-home cultivation of medical cannabis was a conscious “backward step to obscurantism.” The country’s main health body, the Brazilian Agency Regulatory Agency (ANVISA), has denied requests to allow home cultivation on a number of occasions.
Two years ago, Daniel Law and the Cannigma reported that ANVISA had begun authorizing the import, manufacture and sale of cannabis-based medications as well as the commercialization of medical as well as recreational marijuana. However, this seems to go against Brazilian law, which only allows imported cannabis products for medical use.
By law, only three companies are authorized to grow, harvest and handle medical marijuana. These companies include the Cannabis and Health Association, the Brazilian Cannabis Support Association Esperança and the Support for Medical Cannabis Research and Patients.
Last year, the country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, declared that he did not support any efforts to authorize home cultivation of cannabis, even if it was for medical purposes. This is despite the fact that a prior survey from the International Drug Policy Consortium found that more than one-half (57%) of Brazilians were in favor of legalizing cannabis.
The authorization of cannabis home-grows for the patients who petitioned the court may open a deluge of interested parties that wish to leverage modern cannabis growing technologies and opportunities such as the grow pods sold by Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX).
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