Cannabis numbers keep growing around the world at an accelerated rate and experts believe that Argentina could benefit from this industry, especially now when the country is in the middle of an economic crisis. As the world adapts to the new post-pandemic economic reality, the demand for the creation of new companies grows and the cannabis industry is in the position to cover those demands.
According to the latest global report published in November 2019 by the prestigious specialized consultancy Prohibition Partners, by 2024 the global market for medical cannabis will reach USD 62.7 billion annually, accompanied by international legislative development that will accelerate at a much faster rate than the current one.
The market value forecast for Latin America projects an accelerated rate of growth and suggests that there is an important business opportunity to cover the regional aggregate demand, thus presenting the challenge of going out to compete abroad.
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The properties of medical cannabis are undeniable
The phenomenon of medicinal cannabis is an undeniable fact on a planetary level. In Argentina it is a subject that has a wide consensus in our society; It is enough only to recall the unanimity with which the medical cannabis law (27,350) was sanctioned by both Houses in the National Congress.
Its marked scientific and social legitimacy must be followed by the construction of another legitimacy built on public and regulatory policies that guarantee accessible, safe and legal products.
There is abundant evidence of its efficacy as a treatment for certain diseases and its benefits as an alternative medication, its safety, its low toxicity and its pain-relieving power; positively impacting the quality of life of many patients, users and entire families.
In its wake, the pharmaceutical industry has been giving greater preponderance to phytomedicines as advances in their research and development continue.
The cannabis sector has the potential to change the world
A major milestone in the scientific validation of its medicinal use was the approval of a drug (Epidiolex) based on cannabinoids (CBD) by the US Food and Drug Administration just over two years ago. The regulatory body also approved three drugs containing synthetic THC or similar substances for the treatment of anorexia in HIV patients and chemotherapy-induced vomiting in cancer patients.
We are a nascent sector that has a shared vision, that envisions its opportunity in the world, that has the enthusiasm and knowledge to do so
The therapeutic uses of the plant and the endocannabinoid system put us in front of a novel horizon in which everything is yet to be developed and investigated. We have the human, academic and institutional resources to carry it out. The only thing missing is a political decision, which society has been waiting for years.
This green agenda of scientific, technical and economic development that cannabis offers to Argentina is enormously rich for the enhancement of business cooperation with science and public-private structuring, as engines of this new industry.
Argentina could take advantage of the new industry
Our activity can become a country opportunity facing the challenges of the future, being part of an open-model growth policy that places science and technology at the center of the scene, enabling the formation of agro-industrial and technological clusters around its primary production.
We can transform it into the development of intellectual property, goods and services with added value that can be exported, which help to reduce a historical external restriction on foreign exchange that Argentina has not been able to solve.
The world does not wait. In a competitive environment, things often have to be done not only well, but also in a timely manner.
The economic reality that the post-pandemic will leave behind will demand the creation of new companies, jobs and disruptive business models that offer solutions such as those that the cannabis industry is in a position to provide. No one can seriously think that we will achieve this by turning our backs on private initiative and that we will be able to do it without their contribution, stamp and vigor.
We are a nascent sector that has a shared vision, that envisions its opportunity in the world, that has the enthusiasm and knowledge to do so. We should allow this activity to blossom by giving it an appropriate regulatory framework and legal security.
If we succeed, the companies and the entrepreneurial cannabis ecosystem of our country will give ample samples of what we are capable of doing. Determination and flexibility on the part of the authorities is necessary to respond to the new social, political and economic needs of the 21st century.
Is the time. There is little more room to continue postponing decision-making on this public policy agenda. The world does not wait.We have on the table the chance of generating USD 1 billion in exports in the next 10 years. It is only up to us to take advantage of it.
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First published in Infobae, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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