Peru’s stance on cannabis has evolved over the years. Back in 2017, the South American nation legalized medical cannabis while ensuring that the possession of cannabis not exceeding 8 grams was not hefty penalized. Nevertheless, the use of cannabis for recreational purposes remains illegal in the country.
An Introduction to Peru
Nestled on the western shorelines of South America, Peru is neighbored by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the East, with Bolivia to its southeast, Chile down south, and the expansive Pacific Ocean to its west. Known for its colorful culture and rich heritage, Peru’s population advances a diverse blend of indigenous, European, African, and Asian influences.
The Journey of Medical Cannabis in Peru
In the year 2017, an initiative to legalize medical cannabis was announced under President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s administration. This plan was propelled after a police operation in Lima thwarted an operation that provided cannabis medicines to 80 families caring for children with epilepsy and other diseases. Subsequently, Peru’s congress greenlighted a bill to legalize cannabis oil for medical purposes by an overpowering 68 votes in favor, against a meager 5.
In June 2021, Cannabis & Co marked a significant achievement by starting the first legitimate dispensary in Peru intended for the distribution of medicinal cannabis. Beginning operations required the organization to secure permits and consent from four primary Peruvian government agencies, guaranteeing compliance with regulations.
Decriminalization of Cannabis in Peru
Peru qualifies the possession of cannabis less than 8 grams as a civil offense subject to a minor penalty.
Status of Recreational Cannabis in Peru
Despite the lenient laws on possession, recreational usage of cannabis is illegal in Peru. Holding cannabis surpassing 8 grams draws a jail sentence of between 8 to 15 years.
The Legalization of Hemp in Peru
Peru has legalized hemp, or non-psychoactive cannabis, since 2019. Non-psychoactive cannabis is recognized as “cáñamo” or “hemp” and has a THC content of less than 1% in its dry weight. February 2019 saw the legal endorsement of industrial hemp through a policy that differentiates it from medical cannabis based on its THC content. The implemented regulation permits the legal cultivation and use of industrial hemp, maintaining oversight on medical cannabis relating to its THC composition.
The regulatory framework covers the cultivation and production of both psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis, containing 1% or above THC and cannabidiol (CBD), respectively. Both researchers and businesses involved in hemp are not needed to secure licenses under the enacted regulation.
The Legal Stand of CBD in Peru
CBD derived from hemp, harboring less than 1% THC, is legal in Peru. While no explicit regulation targets CBD in Peru, the sale of hemp products like CBD requires a distinct license.
Cultivation of Cannabis at Home in Peru?
The cultivation of cannabis at home in Peru is strictly prohibited.
The Future of Cannabis Legislation in Peru
Peru has been resolving slowly toward a wider acceptance of cannabis legalization, especially in the medical cannabis sector. Regulations were approved in 2017 for medical cannabis oil for therapeutic usage, followed by rules in 2020 for producing and marketing medical cannabis products.
Despite progress, the future of recreational cannabis legalization in Peru seems uncertain. Public opinion is divided, with varying perspectives within governmental and social institutions. Whether Peru will eventually legalize cannabis for recreational usage stands dependent on aspects like evolving societal attitudes, scientific research findings, public health factors, and political decision-making inputs. Stay tuned for updates on any forthcoming changes.
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