The Argentine government sees cannabis as an industry with a strong potential to generate exports and job growth for the country and has been pursuing policy to help develop it. It is argued that international examples show that the full potential of cannabis will only be realized with the proper legal framework that can support legal producers whilst keeping it out of the hands of illicit actors.
In the midst of a global pandemic causing both a social and economic crisis, the Argentine national government has set its sights on the development of a business that has grown exponentially in recent years throughout the rest of the world: cannabis.
But it is not the only government looking to capitalize on the growing interest in cannabis, making to hard to follow who’s doing what and where. Keep up to date with simple and relevant summaries of everything using our companion cannabis news app.
Cannabis promises to generate employment
They assure that the cannabis industry in all its uses, with the exception of “psychoactive” ones (the State’s approach to the end of the persecution of consumers and growers is still a pending matter), promises even more for the future in terms of employment.
What is certain is that the Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, accompanied by his peers Carla Vizzotti (Health), Roberto Salvarezza (Science, Technology and Innovation), and Luis Basterra (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries), presented this Wednesday together with the president of the Economic and Social Council (CES), Gustavo Béliz, and the secretary of this organization, Cecilia Nicolini, a bill for Argentina to get fully involved in the production of derivatives of the millenary plant, from medicines to cosmetics, from clothing to ecological bricks, food and auto parts, among others.
After many years of militancy and activism by non-profit organizations and specialists in different areas, who have recently been joined by businessmen interested in playing in this millionaire business, the government of Alberto Fernández is aiming at the opportunity for Argentina to quickly become a regional leader in the promising universe of industrial cannabis, trusting in the country’s agricultural and scientific-technological capacities.
The benefits known since 1797
Paradoxically, the newfound interest is nothing all that new. Many had first been imagined by Manuel Belgrano in 1797 when he wrote a memorandum on the benefits of hemp cultivation in the soil of what was still the Río de la Plata.
For that reason, after the presentation in society this Wednesday at the Bicentennial Museum, the project will travel immediately to the Congress so that both Chambers deal with it and approve it as soon as possible.
During most of 2020, Desarrollo Productivo worked together with specialists from the Conicet and its own legislators in the drafting of the law, based on international recommendations and lessons from those pioneer countries at global and regional level.
Next few days crucial for future of cannabis
It will be seen in the next few days how this idea affects the opposition and what margin exists for the law to be passed. In principle, several provinces governed by alternative parties to the Frente de Todos, such as Jujuy and Corrientes (whose governors “virtually” attended the event headed by Kulfas), have already initiated their productive projects with cannabis, so that a tacit agreement principle can be sensed in the legislative representatives of these districts.
The aspect on which the Executive Power will insist to approve this initiative is based on empirical evidence: the positive consequences on the local economy are remarkable. In countries that have already regulated the business, such as Canada, the United States, Colombia, Israel, and Uruguay job creation, increased exports, access to health and development of SMEs and cooperatives throughout the country are all immediate benefits.
Argentina has many areas with ideal climate and soil for the cultivation of this plant originating in Central Asia, whose first uses date back to 10,000 years ago.
State cannabis regulation important to avoid diversion to illicit market
“International experience shows that the hemp and medical cannabis chain has greater growth potential if it is regulated by the State, to avoid diversions to the illegal market and guarantee the traceability of processes and products with a medicinal destination. We see a world market in expansion and, in Argentina, there is capacity and infrastructure. A law is needed to allow the scaling up of cannabis and hemp production,” said Kulfas in the presentation.
“This law aims to give it an order, regulation and impulse that allows a productive transformation with enormous exporting potential and the generation of sources of employment”, added Gustavo Béliz.
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First published in Profesional FM 89.9, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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