Marijuana Legalization

Brazil’s new medical hashish guidelines reject home cultivation, doubtlessly establishing giant import market

Brazil’s Nationwide Sanitary Surveillance Company (ANVISA) discusses new guidelines for medical hashish within the nation. (Photograph courtesy of Rodrigo Mesquita)

Brazilian well being authorities rejected home cultivation of medical marijuana however agreed to allow the distribution of medicinal hashish merchandise that haven’t accomplished medical trials, doubtlessly establishing one of many largest import markets on this planet.

The brand new guidelines, adopted Tuesday, permit bulk imports and gross sales in pharmacies for the primary time.

Tuesday’s choice – involving two draft resolutions – quantities to a short lived scheme, a call corresponding to medical hashish applications in European nations together with Denmark, Eire, France and Germany.

Nonetheless, firms wanting to capitalize on this chance might want to overcome restrictions and obstacles that embody: 

  • A ban on flower.
  • Costly Good Manufacturing Follow (GMP) necessities.
  • A ban on the usage of the phrase “medical” – or an equal one – with hashish merchandise.
  • A ban on home cultivation.
  • The necessity for a particular prescription for each hashish product, together with these with minimal or no THC.
  • A requirement that THC merchandise above zero.2% THC could be licensed just for terminal and “final resort” sufferers.
  • A reluctance amongst physicians to prescribe hashish.

This week’s choice by the collegiate listing of ANVISA – the Brazilian Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, or Nationwide Sanitary Surveillance Company – in impact rejected a proposal to permit home cultivation however created transitional guidelines to facilitate the commercialization of hashish merchandise.

The transfer comes after months of public session, political intrigue and intense opposition from high-level officers throughout the authorities of President Jair Bolsonaro.

The ANVISA decision creating the brand new guidelines shouldn’t be but publicly out there however is predicted to be printed in Brazil’s official Gazette later this week.

The foundations take impact 90 days later.

Marijuana Enterprise Day by day analyzed the choice based mostly on an official announcement printed by ANVISA in addition to the transcripts justifying the votes.

The brand new decision has a “transitional” validity and shall be reviewed in three years.

William Dib, ANVISA’s director-president, advised native journalists Tuesday that entry to medical hashish shall be improved however added that that is “an experimental section,” indicating that suppliers ought to pursue medical trials to generate proof.

ANVISA is asking the brand new framework a “regulated transition” and calls on firms to not abandon analysis to exhibit the efficacy and security of MMJ merchandise.

GW Prescription drugs’ Sativex is at the moment the one registered hashish drugs in Brazil, however the brand new guidelines will permit a separate registration of “hashish merchandise” that haven’t undergone medical trials. Additionally, docs will have the ability to prescribe medical hashish, although the merchandise won’t have official “medicines” standing.

ANVISA already permits imports of nonregistered medical marijuana merchandise on a case-by-case foundation. Regardless of the restrictive framework, the nation has the largest business medical hashish market in Latin America.

With business cultivation off the desk for now, the one approach to legally develop medical marijuana in Brazil is to acquire a particular allow by way of the nation’s judicial system.

The brand new guidelines

Opposite to the unique draft proposal, the adopted transitional framework won’t require a minimal of Section 2 of medical trials to exhibit a product’s efficacy.

Authorities had initially proposed to permit the registration of medical hashish merchandise underneath a extra lenient course of than different medicines.

Nonetheless, they modified the textual content to as a substitute create a separate class for “hashish merchandise,” establishing sure high quality necessities for his or her registration and prohibiting labeling the merchandise as “medicines” or an equal.

Firms shall be allowed to import extracts as uncooked supplies for additional processing in Brazil.

The importation of plant materials or its components gained’t be allowed, that means sufferers won’t have entry to flower.

Producers will need to have GMP manufacturing requirements licensed by ANVISA. The company might acknowledge GMP certifications from different PIC/S members corresponding to Australia and the European Union.

Good distribution and storage practices may also be required.

To register merchandise, firms should present technical documentation justifying the standard, formulations and routes of administration.

Firms shall be required to have the power to observe opposed results on sufferers within the Brazilian market. Every unit bought shall be recorded in a nationwide database that screens the sale of specifically managed medicines all through the entire provide chain.

Product labels should embody a big warning signal with a pink background indicating that the drugs could be bought solely underneath prescription. Firms won’t be allowed to quote any therapeutic indication for his or her merchandise.

If the product has greater than zero.2% THC, the package deal should additionally embody a dependency warning.


No matter THC content material, merchandise could be bought solely to sufferers who’ve a particular, numerated prescription managed by native sanitary businesses.

This makes docs the gatekeepers for the market, and in line with Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the Federal Council of Drugs (Conselho Federal de Medicina) already has stated it’s “involved” in regards to the approval of the brand new guidelines for hashish medicines and is “blissful” cultivation was not allowed.

Merchandise with greater than zero.2% THC shall be bought solely to terminal sufferers or as a final resort to different sufferers.

Solely pharmacies will have the ability to promote to sufferers.

Not like nations corresponding to Colombia, the place compounding pharmacies are a essential step within the provide chain, Brazil’s pharmacies won’t be able to govern the product. They’ll promote it solely to sufferers.

Veterinary use, cosmetics and meals dietary supplements should not included within the new rules and should not permitted by present ANVISA regulation.

How the brand new guidelines arrived at this level 

  • January 2019: The rising variety of case-by-case authorizations is seen as unsustainable in the long run, an indication that main adjustments had been forward.
  • April 2019: Particular person authorizations grew exponentially through the first quarter of 2019.
  • June 2019: ANVISA printed the groundbreaking proposals for public session.
  • August 2019: The proposals confronted heavy opposition from high-level authorities authorities.
  • August 2019: Whereas the proposals had been debated, the variety of particular person authorizations reached 10,000.
  • Oct. four, 2019: The proposals confronted inside challenges.
  • Oct. 7, 2019: Voting on the proposals was postponed.
  • Oct. 15, 2019: Voting was postponed once more, and subsequent additional postponements raised critical doubts over the probabilities of approval.

Alfredo Pascual could be reached at [email protected]

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