A landlocked country nestled in the heart of South America, Paraguay shares borders with Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina. Its agricultural economy thrives on the production and export of soybeans, corn, wheat, and other crops. As a landlocked nation, Paraguay addresses trade challenges through the development of river ports, road networks, and the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the Paraná River.
Medical Cannabis Legislation in Paraguay
In 2017, Paraguay legalized medical cannabis. A significant milestone occurred in February 2020 when the nation granted the first 12 licenses to companies to operate as vertically integrated producers, positioning Paraguay as an emerging low-cost medical cannabis producer. The licenses grant permission for importing seeds, cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution – encompassing both domestic and export markets. Only pharmaceutical laboratories were eligible to apply for the 12 licenses chosen from 18 applicants.
Decriminalization of Cannabis Possession
Possession of a small amount of cannabis (10 grams or less) was decriminalized in Paraguay in 1988.
Recreational Cannabis: Is it Legal?
Recreational cannabis remains illegal in the country.
Hemp Cultivation and the Paraguayan Market
Hemp was legalized in Paraguay in 2018, and cultivation commenced in 2019. As the largest Latin American hemp producer, Paraguay exports the majority of its yield to neighboring countries.
CBD Usage and Legal Status
For medical use, CBD (cannabidiol) is legal in Paraguay. Following the 2017 law sanctioning CBD use under medical supervision, cannabis-derived medications with CBD content can now be imported, distributed, and used. However, CBD as a food supplement is not recognized by law.
Cultivating Cannabis at Home
Paraguayan families can grow cannabis at home on an allotted land area of up to two hectares (approximately 5 acres) per household. This policy change in 2019 allows families to actively participate in low-THC industrial hemp cultivation, adopting a cottage industry model.
The Future of Cannabis Legalization in Paraguay
With strides made in the medical cannabis sector, including granting licenses for production and distribution, the nation exhibits potential. However, there are no strong indications that Paraguay will fully legalize cannabis for recreational use in the near future. Its legalization rests on various factors, including societal attitudes, legislative changes, and political decision-making.
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