By / May 13, 2020

Medical cannabis seen as a great opportunity by official figures in Ecuador

The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will force some countries to explore new industries and opportunities to balance the economy and put a stop to the current economic crisis that has engulfed the world. One of the options that could be applied in Ecuador is the development of the medical cannabis and hemp industry, a sector that could generate millions in revenue. 

This past Tuesday, May 12th, 2020, the Minister of Production and Foreign Trade of Ecuador, Ivan Ontaneda, referred to this potential sector on his Twitter account. “…the medical and industrial cannabis industry is a great opportunity for the country, it will generate thousands of jobs and dollars,” he wrote.

If you want to know more about cannabis, how the development of this industry is becoming a viable option for some countries in order to get past the current economic crisis, how it will affect Ecuador’s economy in the near future, and to find out the latest cannabis news, download the mobile application.

The use of medical cannabis in Ecuador will be regulated in the coming months

From June 24th, the reforms to the Comprehensive Penal Code (COIP) approved by the National Assembly of Ecuador will be in full force. These reforms include articles that legalize the use of medical cannabis for therapeutic, palliative, medicinal or alternative medicine purposes, provided that a professional medical diagnosis proves that a disease is being suffered and that cannabis could help the patients.

In addition, non-psychoactive cannabis or hemp was excluded as a scheduled substance under control, provided that its delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content was less than 1% by dry weight.

The Ministries of Agriculture and Health of Ecuador have a little more than one month to issue the respective regulations of the Comprehensive Penal Code (COIP) reforms, which were published in the Official Register on December 24th, 2019. 180 days were granted to prepare the regulations. 

President of Ecuador is taking some measures in order to legalize cannabis consumption

Currently, in Ecuador, both the production and distribution of cannabis is penalized by the law. However, three years ago the government of Ecuador started to relax its view towards this plant, allowing the citizens to carry up to 10 grams of cannabis legally.

These actions taken by the government gave hope to consumers that are looking for ways to use this plant legally, in order to treat their illnesses. Also, many public voices in the Latin American country have spoken in favor of cannabis, stating that the consumption of cannabis  should be totally decriminalized as long as people carry small doses.

This Monday, May 11th, 2020, the President of the Republic, Lenín Moreno, signed Executive Decree 1049, which provided for changes in the General Regulations to the Organic Law on the Integral Prevention of the Socioeconomic Phenomenon of Drugs and Regulation and Control of the Use of Catalogued Substances Subject to Control.

Moreno made official changes in the qualification and authorization to permanently handle catalogued substances subject to control for the activities and purposes determined in the Law.

In addition, he replaced in all the regulations the articles that referred to the Technical Secretariat of Drugs, an entity that was suppressed by the Head of State on April 24th, 2018.


(Featured image by Sang Hyun Cho via Pixabay)

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