By / September 16, 2020

Argentina’s province of Jujuy invests in cannabis oil production

The production of medicinal cannabis is a reality now in Jujuy and is on its way to being so throughout all of Argentina.  In the meantime, the local government, headed by Gerardo Morales, already has 35 hectares planted. They also plan to launch, at the end of this month, a laboratory to perform the extraction of cannabis derivatives to provide them to those who can manufacture different products, such as medicinal cannabis oil.

The head of the technological industrial plan for the production of medicinal cannabis derivatives in Jujuy, Gaston Morales, son of the governor, deployed a significant investment in the lands of the El Pongo farm.

With this investment, Morales managed to plant 35 hectares, and set up a complex of 600 square meters, where a laboratory will operate to extract the cannabis derivatives. This was done through the company ‘Cannabis Avatara Sociedad del Estado’, created by law 6.088 in 2018.

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Controversy still exist around Tetrahydrocannabinol

Here appears a point of controversy, since another of the derivatives of the cannabis plant is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in this case known for its psychotropic effects, popularized by the consumption of marijuana cigarettes. 

“In the country the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients with a high content of CBD and not THC is authorized, but it is not true that THC has no medical effect. The effects of the 70 or 80 cannabinoids in the plant continue to be discovered, each one has a specific effect on the endocannabinoid receptors”, explained Gastón Morales. 

Regardless, the first stage of the project is aiming at CBD cannabis oil production, a product that is in high demand from relatives of patients with neurological diseases, such as refractory epilepsy. 

“It is clear the anticonvulsant effect and the effectiveness and safety of the treatment is corroborated, in an average dose of 16 milligrams per kilo every day,” said the doctor of the Garrahan hospital, Roberto Carvallo, who during the same meeting exposed the results of a research carried out in 50 patients. 

The cannabis project is aiming to generate jobs and boost the province economy

From his presentation we learned that the government plans to generate 140 jobs in 2020 and 2021. Both from the 35 hectares that are already in production, and from the projected increase to 2,000 hectares, with 8,000 direct jobs associated with cannabis oil production in the near future. 

“We are looking for the development of a new regional economy that expands beyond the classic and traditional economic history of Jujuy. Our economy has always been tied to tobacco and sugarcane production for 80 years and nothing else, both industries that are now in clear decline,” expressed Gaston Morales, openly recognizing the objective of gradually replacing traditional crops.

Also, the current national government of Alberto Fernandez has made clear during the virtual meeting that there is political will to extend the cultivation of cannabis in Argentina, even for purposes not strictly related to cannabis oil production or even medicine. In comparison, the past government of Mauricio Macri had arranged an excessively restrictive cannabis regulation, which prevented the development of the activity. 

The starting point is the regulation of the law 27.350, which regulated in 2017 the medical use and research of the derivatives of the plant. 

“We are in the process of discussing with the legal and technical secretariat to frame it in what the president wants to do with this and move forward,” said Tarragona.


(Featured image by Enecta Cannabis extracts via Unsplash)

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