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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 9 January 2018

In brief: Paraguay

Paraguay: Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes has promulgated into law a bill that legalises the use and production of marijuana and marijuana derivatives for medicinal purposes. The promulgation of the bill, which was approved by congress on 5 December 2017, represents a major regulatory change in Paraguay, South America’s largest marijuana producer. Until now the production and use of marijuana has been completely outlawed in Paraguay. But proponents of the new legislation argued that the growing use around the world of marijuana and marijuana derivatives to treat certain medical conditions warranted a regulatory change that would allow the country to produce marijuana to satisfy the local demand for such products rather than resort to importing them. Indeed, the new law establishes the creation of a national programme for the medical and scientific investigation of cannabis and its derivatives (Proincumec), which proponents hope will lead to the development of a pharmaceutical marijuana industry in the country.