By William Stash Jones
Oregon Cannabis Connection
January 18, 2017 – National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance, or Anvisa, announced Monday that they issued the country’s first license for a cannabis-based drug. The Brazilian authority that approves pharmaceutical drugs, much like the FDA in America, announced they reached an agreement to sell Sativex® under the name Mevatyl®.
There has been court cases and much back and forth in Brazil in recent years concerning medical cannabis. This opportunity provides a single company monopoly on strictly the controlled pharmaceutical. Reuters reports:
“The legal status of cannabis-based drugs has been a thorny issue in Brazil for years, with several patients fighting in the courts to circumvent prohibition. Anvisa has loosened some restrictions in the past two years, allowing patients with medical orders to personally import some drugs derived from marijuana.
GW Pharmaceuticals, founded in 1998 to explore the medical potential of marijuana, has emerged as a takeover target for larger pharmaceutical companies after recent breakthroughs on the cannabis-based epilepsy treatment Epidolex.
São Paulo-based Beaufour Ipsen Farmacêutica Ltda will hold the Brazilian distribution license for Sativex, which is already sold in 28 other countries, according to Anvisa.”
Since 2015 the country has legalized the use of CBD, or cannabidiol, for therapeutic use. They have allowed personal use and cultivation since 2005. Its still community service and fines for people caught with the plant. However, selling the herb and being caught with large amounts still gets sentences of 5 to 15 years.
We can hope Brazil can start to allow real medical cannabis like we see in the California, Oregon, and with other long-time medical programs. People need access to all forms of cannabis, not just an oral spray that is controlled by the government and only for a few select patients.
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