The issue will have to be defined by the Plenary of the National Assembly. The Health Commission, in charge of preparing the report for the second debate of the Health Code, has already approved the text of Book II of that regulation, which talks about the medicinal use of marijuana or cannabis.
In the first debate of that rule, the therapeutic and medicinal use of that plant was already discussed. As well as the sowing, cultivation, harvest, industrialization, storage and dispensing. But the entire responsibility for the control of these activities rested with the Ministry of Health (MSP).
For the second and final debate, however, it was established that this control will be carried out in a coordinated manner between the National Agency for Regulation, Control and Sanitary Vigilance (Arcsa), Agency for Regulation and Control of Fito and Zoosanitary (Agrocalidad), Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, cantonal GADs and Ministry of Defense.
The Ministry of Health, for example, will be in charge of granting the licenses, which will last five years. They will be delivered exclusively to legal persons, cooperatives and associations dedicated to the production of medicines or natural products processed for medicinal use. These entities must submit a production project that contains the specifications of: place of production, type of seed and stock that should not contain percentages higher than 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), technology to be used, number of plants to be used, products to be obtained, and description of the production line, among others.
In addition, they must have an internal and external security and control protocol that will be approved by the Ministry of the Interior. Also a waste treatment plan approved by the Municipal Decentralized Autonomous Governments (GADs) and the Ministry of Environment.
The entities that obtain these licenses must declare and demonstrate the legality of the origin of the funds for the execution of the project, complying with this and other applicable regulations for the prevention of money laundering.
Sebastián Palacios (SUM), member of the Commission, clarified that this regulation should not be confused with a legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. Since it is the Penal Code that prohibits and sanctions that use and that text will not be reformed. Although in the session of Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the Commission approved this report unanimously. With eight votes of the assembly members present. There is opposition.
The social Christian Poly Ugarte considers a mistake for the lack of studies. She adds that a mistake was already made by approving a table of drug consumption, which triggered a greater consumption of young people. And now it is intended to legalize sowing, when the State has not guaranteed control of the borders.
From article 340 of the project the therapeutic use of cannabis and derivatives is discussed. In this section, it is established that the MSP will determine the diseases or medical conditions that may be treated with medicinal products and processed natural products for medicinal use that contain cannabis derivatives.
It will also regulate the concentrations of that substance in them and the amount allowed in each prescription. As well as the temporality of the duration of said prescription. In addition, the promotion, advertising and sponsorship of medicines and processed natural products for medicinal use containing cannabis is prohibited. The Commission has already approved the reports for the second debate of Book I and Book II of the Health Code.
The third book and the transitory, reformatory and derogatory provisions subtracted. The project is expected to pass to the Plenary in mid-November. In case it is approved, it must be analyzed by President Lenín Moreno for publication and validity. (I)