BRAZIL’S beleaguered government is looking to reignite its ailing economy by giving the green light to the cultivation of medicinal cannabis.
The South American giant is currently fast-tracking legislation to allow its massive agriculture industry to move into hemp production and cannabis plantations.
Despite a huge economy that dominates several of the world’s commodities markets, Brazil’s economic fortunes of late have cast a shadow over its 210 million people eager to see Latin America’s ‘sleeping giant’ wake up from its decades-long slumber.
Neighbouring nations have already begun the process of concentrating farming efforts into various cannabis markets, leaving many frustrated economists in Sao Paulo – the country’s financial capital – scratching their heads.
Now, however, the Federal Government in Brasilia has started to acknowledge the market potential, and could have cannabis cultivation legalised before the year is out.
Curiously, Brazil had the opportunity to be first-to-market in the exploding cannabis industry after originally proposing a bill that could have opened the floodgates to hemp farming and medical cannabis production in 2015.
The project was shelved by the uncertainty of several ministers concerned over a lack of research surrounding the then embryonic industry.
Many of those same ministers are now working on a revision of the 2015 bill to unlock the door to a new economy before it’s too late to gain a foothold in the global market share.
The bill will also include the legalisation of CBD products and off-the-shelf remedies. CBD products are currently band throughout the country.
Government advisors, keen not to rely on Brazil’s remarkable success with sugar, coffee and beef exports, want the nation to turn its focus towards new ideas after witnessing a sharp contraction in the economy.
It is understood that Brazil’s once burgeoning coffers have shrunk by up to 15% year-on-year, with the likelihood of further deflation to come.
Race to profit
The race back to profit, many believe, could be won with cannabis as a key to avoiding all-out recession.
One of the driving forces behind the project is the bill’s author – minister Luciano Ducci – who has been a medicinal cannabis evangelist for several years.
“In Brazil, around 13 million people could benefit from cannabis-based drugs,” he says.
“Our fight is to try to alleviate the suffering of thousands of people who found a relief for their pain in cannabis remedies.”
Ducci is supported by senator – and doctor – Humberto Costa who has repeatedly pointed to evidence that sativa-based medicines could be effective in the treatment of neurological conditions.
“It is a good project,” he declared.
“It is a good idea that can help many people who, due to this legal prohibition, cannot access drugs that could improve their quality of life.”
The bill’s supporters, though, are not without opposition. Several ministers – like senator Eduardo Girao – stand firmly in their way.
Girao recently branded the bill as an “abhorrent promotion of the narco business”, branding cannabis as “a drug that destroys families”.
He also accused Ducci and Costa of using children suffering with epilepsy as pawns in a game to make Brazil the world’s largest exporter of marijuana.
Further reading: Brazilian researchers look at behavioural change treatment with CBD… https://theleafdesk.com/researchers-say-cbd-may-help-aggressive-behaviour/