The National Senate passed the medical cannabis law in 2017 in Argentina, bringing cannabis oil into the legal framework. Two years later there is still no legal production, but there are accumulated efforts and projects to create a State Society to grow cannabis and its derivatives for scientific and medical purposes. At the moment people in Argentina can’t access cannabis in a safe way.
El Inta, the civil association “Ciencia Sativa”, from San Carlos de Bariloche, and an interdisciplinary team of doctors from the town of El Bolsón will hold a conference on the therapeutic use of cannabis.
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Meeting regarding cannabis regulation in Argentina
As announced by the head of the national organization, Andrea Cardozo, the meeting is part of “the presentation of the project of experimental cannabis cultivation for therapeutic purposes, scientific research and development in Northern Patagonia,” already presented in the cities of Cipolletti and San Carlos de Bariloche in the framework of the “Patagonian Days of Cannabis – Health, Cultivation, and Science,” and was declared of interest by the Chamber of Deputies of the Nation.
He also stressed that “this is the first time in Argentina that a project has been proposed to consolidate research and production of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, with the clear intention of advancing the implementation of Law 27,350, passed in 2017. In addition, it will be an instructive day that will help to understand and inform about the state of knowledge of the curative use of cannabis.” To this end, “it will be the participation of prestigious professionals and researchers who will speak on different topics and their experiences related to cannabis. Likewise, the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions to the specialists.”
Conference with free assistance
The conference will be held at the Fundación Cooperar, from 9 to 12 and from 14 to 17, with free assistance. The conference will have two parts: institutional presentation of the project; presentation of the civil association “Ciencia Sativa” and presentation of the reference team of the area hospital El Bolsón. In the afternoon, the activity “will continue with the presence of speakers from different parts of the country, extending the participation to health professionals and academics, plus interested parties,” it was indicated.
In turn, Nicolás Di Biasse, a medical specialist in pathologies and coordinator of Reprocann (Network of Professionals for the Study of Cannabis, of Bahía Blanca), considered “that during the last years the use of the cannabis plant has mutated a lot, offering at the same time the possibility of inter-discipline between biologists, agronomists, pharmacists and biochemists working on the issue.”
People in Argentina can’t still get cannabis in a safe way
However, “today there is no safe access to cannabis in Argentina. Given this, self-cultivation by the families involved is a healthy strategy, since they don’t know what they can find on the black market,” Nicolas said. When showing a portable test kit for the oils, he mentioned that “in 600 samples made in Bahía Blanca alone, we have found a tremendous variety, which is then reflected in the mourners and in the market price, which can vary greatly. The main responsibility lies with the State since it cannot regulate the activity,” he added.
Alejandro Bucciarelli, a pharmacist and professor at the National University of the South, pointed to “actions aimed at reducing the risks associated with the use of preparations of dubious origin, mainly through social networks and Internet portals.” In this sense, he said that “it is very frequent that cannabis users attend the university to know the content of the oils, the community is already aware of controlling the quality of these products, it is a service that we offer from our chair.” This control can be carried out by those interested in the Andean Region, within the framework of the conference organized by Inta.
The cannabis research group in El Bolson
Next, Juan Ignacio Gutiérrez, a community mental health specialist, stated that “we are a study and research group, with different projects developed within the El Bolsón hospital with the aim of training and acquiring more information on the subject. Currently, we are not carrying out therapies with cannabis, except in very specific cases, and accompanying people who decide to take it as a therapeutic practice.”
For his part, biologist Santiago Juarez (Sativa Science), said that “we are an NGO that works with medical cannabis, also oriented to research, with a link to the community to accompany users with a medical prescription or those who want to grow their own cannabis, accessing good practices in cultivation and oil production.”
“The company has been operating since 2011 in the field,” he added, “and it has seen a great evolution from the advantages of medical cannabis, which has washed the face of cannabis. Many people experienced its use and realized the benefits it brings for certain pathologies. The change is very big, mainly in society and also in the medical community, which response differently from 10 years ago.”
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First published in JORNADA, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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