The Brazilian drug regulatory authority, Anvisa, approved the availability of cannabis-based drugs but blocked a proposal to allow the cultivation of medical cannabis by a separate vote.

Until now, patients requiring access to cannabis-based treatment could import from abroad through a system of government authorizations. From now on, companies interested in manufacturing cannabis products will also have to import the ingredients. Brazil will not immediately join Colombia and Uruguay, which have developed their own production/processing/ distribution chains for medical cannabis.

Anvisa announced that the new rules will be published in the country’s official gazette in the coming days and will enter into force 90 days after that date. It has also defined specific rules for the manufacture, import, sale, packaging, marketing and regulation of this new class of cannabis products.

Therefore, Cannabis-based medical products will only be available for sale in registered and prescription pharmacies. Products containing more than 0.2% THC will be authorized for sale for patients who are terminally ill or have exhausted alternative treatment options. Others will only be able to buy products with less than 0.2% THC.

President Jair Bolsonaro has in the past expressed his support for medical cannabis. But, the ultra-conservative leader “will not allow loopholes in the law to be used for planting and consuming marijuana,” his spokesman, Otavio Rego Barros, told journalists in August.

Since 2015, Antwerp has allowed people with a medical prescription to import CBD for the treatment of epilepsy and chronic diseases

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