By / August 5, 2020

Argentine provinces are focusing on cannabis cultivation

The advance of the provinces of Argentina over the federal approach to cannabis is moving at a rapid pace. Now, it is estimated that production in Misiones will start at the end of the month.

With the signature and authorization of the Ministry of Security that would be given in the coming days, at the end of August, the concrete work of production of hemp (cannabis sativa) would start.

It will be on the grounds of the Biofactory of Misiones and near the end of the year would be the first doses of medicinal oil of Misio-Pharma. That is the name of the provincial state enterprise, at the head of which was appointed the physician specialist in phytomedicine, Jorge Alonso.

The professional, with a wide experience in the field, is a graduate of the School of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires, and a specialist in Medical Clinic. He is also president of the Latin American Society of Phytomedicine, and a member of the Argentine Society of Anthropological Medicine.

The assistant professor of Pharmacognosy, Pharmacy Botany and Phytopharmacy of the Pharmacy career at the Maimonides University (Argentina), confirmed the tentative deadlines they are handling for the process.

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Provinces are moving ahead with the cultivation of cannabis

Since the approval of Law 27,350 by the National Congress on March 29th, 2017, 17 provinces have adhered to it. Of these, Jujuy (north) was the first to engage in the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes, but in partnership with laboratories in Canada and other countries.

“Missions will produce for the missionaries in the first place, for the rest of the country and later, the idea is to export,” said Alonso.

In Misiones, the provincial government confirmed in the last days of July, through the Official Bulletin, the creation of a State Society under the name of “Misio-Pharma”. It will be valid for 99 years and will be dedicated to the cultivation of cannabis and its derivatives for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.

Already in the year 2018, Misiones adhered to the national law and now, with the obligatory regulation, it is preparing to produce, industrialize and commercialize cannabis.

“Misio-Pharma is a state company that is going to take charge of the whole process, from importing the seeds, from Uruguay in principle, because they are already authorized and respond to the variety needed for this stage and will be certified by the National Institute of Seeds (INASE),” said the professional.

First cannabis production test will be done in indoor facilities

Alonso confirmed that the first production experiments will be carried out indoors, in the Biofactory. In addition, it will be guarded by federal forces and other alternatives will be sought later.

In principle, the area of cultivation of the variety of cannabis that the company will use, will be in principle so “Indoor” on the grounds of the Biofactory, at its headquarters in Miguel Lanus, Posadas.

“Then, in the part of the clinical trials, we will make a link with the Ministry of Public Health and in the clinical trials there will be a coordinator from some hospital,” he said.

Furthermore, he added that “we will work with the staff of the Biofactory in principle. As for the cultivation and its special conditions, everything will be done with personnel that the Province already has,” said Alonso.

Finally, he distinguished Misiones because unlike the project developed in Jujuy, “here, there is no laboratory that comes from outside, but it will be the province itself that will sell the product.”

Besides being in charge of the whole process, Alonso stressed the importance of having the Laboratory of Medical Specialties (LEMIS) in Misiones. That complements and will exercise a very important role in that sense.

Lemis was created at the beginning of the nineties, in 1991. It has a departmental structure that reports directly to the Minister of Health, under the name of Department of Production and Fractionation of Medicines and Supplies.

The objectives of its creation highlighted the need to improve the purchasing power of medicines by the Ministry of Argentina and thus facilitate accessibility for the most needy patients.


(Featured image by Terre di Cannabis via Unsplash)

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