Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorized on Thursday the first import of cannabis products produced in Uruguay for medicinal and private use.
While the authorization frees the importation of Uruguayan cannabis products, a prescription from legally qualified professionals is required for Brazilians to access the product. The measure will be in force for two years, in this case, until 2024, the Brazilian media Perfil reported on Thursday, November 17th.
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The Agency’s measure was based on Resolution RDC No. 660, dated March 30, 2022
Anvisa detailed in a statement that the products of the Uruguayan medical cannabis company Pucmed, which it considered a reference in terms of product quality control, will be the first to be imported. Meanwhile, the company’s CEO, Alfonso Cardozo, was optimistic about the growth potential: “From this intermediation, it is estimated that the sector will earn more than $600,000 a year, expecting an exponential increase,” he told the aforementioned media. “We are the first 100% Uruguayan company enabled by Anvisa to carry cannabis flowers for Brazil,” the company announced this Thursday on its Instagram account.
According to the Associação Brasileira das Indústrias de Cannabis (ABICANN), cannabis-based health treatments can bring benefits to more than 18 million Brazilians in the most diverse medical specialties. However, it is estimated that only 50,000 people in Brazil have access to this type of treatment.
For its part, the company Anna Medicina Endocannabinoide, the first Brazilian startup to open a physical space for the dissemination of information on access to medical marijuana in the country, expressed, “Our purpose is to demystify the access and use of medical cannabis, promoting the quality of life, well-being and safety of patients.”
In 2015, Anvisa authorized the importation of cannabis-derived products for medicinal purposes with the presentation of a medical prescription. In the first year of launch, 850 import requests were made. This number increased more than 40 times in 2021. In 2021, Anvisa received 40,000 applications to import cannabis for therapeutic purposes, Perfil reported.
The resolution to request importation
The document to request the importation of cannabis for medicinal use in Brazil is issued by Anvisa so that citizens can purchase, on a private basis, the substance for the treatment of their health. The criteria are found in the aforementioned resolution RDC nº 660/2020.
The authorization is valid for two years and, during this period, patients or their legal representatives can import the authorized product. To do so, it is sufficient to present the medical prescription, indicating the quantity imported, at Anvisa posts (at airports and border areas). However, all imports are subject to a sanitary inspection at the time of entry into the country, so a prescription issued by a legally qualified professional must be presented, containing the name of the patient, the product, the quantity imported, posology, signature, date and registration number of the prescriber in his or her class board.
Sources linked to the sector informed Montevideo Portal that other Uruguayan companies have already obtained similar authorizations and that they have opted to generate and secure an export mechanism that complies with all the conditions before announcing it publicly.
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First published in Montevideo, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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