With the initiative, Panama becomes the first Central American nation to establish a standard that regulates the import, export and cultivation of the plant. After the presidential sanction, it remains to wait for the regulatory process that will remain in the hands of the Ministry of Health.
After five years of intense debates, which required not only the participation of legislators but also various civil society groups, the Panamanian Parliament approved, at the end of August, a norm that, in addition to regulating the import, export and cultivation of cannabis, allows the establishment of a registry of persons authorized for its therapeutic use.
Said legislation was sanctioned by President Laurentino Cortizo and places the country at the forefront in regulating the use of therapeutic cannabis.
“The sanction of the law that regulates the medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis and its derivatives creates a regulatory framework for the use and monitored access and controlled for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific and research purposes, in the national territory,” he wrote the head of state in a message on the social network Twitter.
The sanction of the law that regulates the medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis and its derivatives, creates a regulatory framework for the use and monitored and controlled access; for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific and research purposes, in the national territory.
– Nito Cortizo (@NitoCortizo) October 14, 2021
The presidential sanction will take effect once the regulations are published in the Official Gazette.
The law, among other aspects, regulates the processes of commercialization, distribution, final disposal, use of the seeds duly authorized for planting the cannabis plant, as well as derivatives of medicinal cannabis for medical purposes.
A hope in improving the quality of life for chronic patients
The news, beyond becoming a window for the development of a new industry in the country, is perceived as hope for pain relief in patients with chronic diseases.
“There are many chronic diseases that can find relief in medical cannabis (…) It is important to say that cannabis is not a cure, but it is a relief to what these people suffer depending on the condition,” said Marie Millard, director of the Luces Panamá foundation, in a conversation with France 24.
With this initiative, Panama joins several Latin American countries that have approved the medicinal use of cannabis, including Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
With EFE and AP