More than 50,000 people in need of medical cannabis and their families are now better off thanks to a new piece of legislation amending Law No. 30681. In July this year, the Peruvian Government enacted a statute authorising those listed on the National Patient Registry for Cannabis Use to file for a licence to grow and produce cannabis as members of associations, with no need to resort to any laboratory.
Cannabis Regulation in Peru
On July 25th, the Peruvian government published an amendment to Law No. 30681, which governs medical and therapeutic use of cannabis and its byproducts, in El Peruano—the country’s official gazette. Such amendment, supported by several political parties. was approved by the Peruvian National Congress on July 15th, with 100 votes in favour, 0 against and 4 abstentions.
According to this regulation, “a licence to produce handmade cannabis under a growing association authorises holders or those indicated therein to grow, process, transport and store cannabis and its byproducts exclusively for medical and therapeutic purposes, complying with the requirements set forth by the Ministry of Health.”
Additionally, the Peruvian Ministry of Home Affairs—through a specialised unit under the Peruvian National Police’s Drug Enforcement Office—is vested with the duty to “draw up and establish safety rules in order to ensure that cannabis, cannabis derivatives and finished products are suitable for medical and therapeutic use.”
Free Access to Medical Cannabis Oil in Peru
As from 2017, the use of therapeutic cannabis is legal on a nationwide level, but still, sale and distribution were only carried out by just a few drugstores. Eight months after this statute came into force, only one drugstore had this medication in stock: Digemid, in the San Miguel district (west from the Lima district). Two years later, 14 additional licences were granted across the whole country.
In February 2019, Peru published the implementing regulations for the act on medical and therapeutic cannabis use. At first, unlike similar statutes adopted by other Latin American countries like Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Argentina, this law did not comprise self- or collective cultivation. Instead, this act only provided for import, distribution and trade licences that could be applied for by producers, drugstores, and laboratories. Although regulation did exist, obtaining a single jar of medical cannabis remained near to impossible.
However, as patients are increasingly demanding this plant to treat their illnesses, handmade medical cannabis oil production in Peru will step up—despite the fact that recently elected President Pedro Castillo does not support the initiative. During his presidential campaign, Mr. Castillo made clear his position against this measure, but still, the Peruvian government enacted Law No. 31312 (governing the medical and therapeutical use of cannabis and its byproducts), a statute that amends Law No. 30681 by adding sections 3-A and 8-A a few days before Castillo’s inauguration.