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Argentina's new hemp and medical cannabis regulator

The recently passed law establishes the Regulatory Agency for the Hemp and Medical Cannabis Industry, or ARICCAME (Agencia Regulatoria de la Industria del Cáñamo y del Cannabis Medicinal), a part of the Ministry of Productive Development (Ministerio de Desarrollo Productivo). The agency “will be the competent organism to regulate, control and issue administrative licenses with respect to the use of cannabis seeds, cannabis, and its derivate products.” Based in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires, ARICCAME is empowered to establish branch offices across Argentina.

Advising the regulator
A Federal Council for the Development of the Hemp and Medical Cannabis Industry (Consejo Federal para el Desarrollo de la Industria del Cáñamo y Cannabis Medicinal) has also been created. This council will serve as an advisory body to ARICCAME. Its composition (one representative of the national government and one for each of Argentina’s provinces) appears geared to amplify the voices of Argentina’s less populated provinces when it comes to hemp and medical cannabis policy. Among its tasks is recommending ARICCAME on policies that encourage the “harmonious development of the industry in each region.”

Licensure and social equity
Under the new framework, ARICCAME is responsible for issuing licenses to import, export, cultivate, industrially produce, manufacture, market, and acquire cannabis seeds, cannabis, and its derivate products. The agency is explicitly required to establish objective criteria for applicants.

In exercising its licensure function, Argentina’s new regulator is to “have special consideration toward applications oriented to contributing to the development of regional economies and promote the activities of cooperatives and agricultural SMEs.” In addition, ARICCAME must consider “the inclusion of gender perspective and diversity” when issuing hemp and medical cannabis licenses.

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