In Mendoza, Argentina, a bill is underway to regulate all aspects of the production flow of the medical cannabis business, from cultivation and manufacture to research and trade. This is taking place in parallel and independently of the national legislation, which is also being prepared by the Argentine government, which will authorize sales in pharmacies.
The Provincial Ministry of Economy and Energy is responsible for this project, unlike the rest of the judicial districts where the Ministry of Health is responsible. This fact is a sign of the business-related nature of this initiative, which could create numerous jobs and be an important cash injection for the local economy. This fact could also explain why self-cultivation is not included in this draft law, but it is already regulated within the scope of efforts at national level and is demanded by both users and cannabis associations.
The extraordinary draft law of Mendoza, led by José María Videla del Frente Renovador, provides that “... the use of cannabis cultivation of all varieties, its industrialization and / or the transfer of technology for scientific, medical and / or therapeutic purposes as well as the Development of mechanisms for the purpose of implementing economic initiatives for the production, transformation and / or distribution of medical processing products are allowed."
One of the strengths is, among other things, the climatic conditions in Mendoza, because they are comparable to those in California, where cannabis has been legal since 2018 and is successfully grown. That would guarantee the harvests as the first link in an entire retail chain.
With this normalization of the market, attempts are being made to put an end to the illegal market, and not only the supply of patients on prescription is envisaged, but also the possibility of an open market with export options to countries where use is regulated by law.
For the time being, commercialization is illegal because the law only allows medical use. Mendoza hopes, through the efforts of the provincial administration, to obtain the permits from the national government in order to create the legal framework for this.
There has been a law in Mendoza since 2016 that regulates medical and scientific cannabis research for therapeutic and pain relieving medical use . Since then, the so-called Unit of Supervised Surveillance (Unidad de Vigilancia Tutelada) has existed in the province, through which doctors from public hospitals enable the import formalities for cannabis. With this new law, Mendoza is once again presenting itself as a national vanguard in the area of final legalization. The province had paved the way for the creation of a register and supply of imported cannabis oil to prescription patients even before the national law, and this law remains in force.