Launch of the National Cannabis Industry Agency

Eight months after the sanction in the National Congress, the government gave the first step to begin the process of regulation of the law which creates a regulatory framework for the development of the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industry. It was with the release of the Regulatory Agency for the Hemp and Cannabis Industry for Medicinal Use (Ariccame), which is in charge of regulating and supervising the activity of the entire production chain of the industry.

“Starting the Agency means starting a new industry in Argentina. An industry that has 25,000 different applications. An industry that will allow us to add value in cosmetics, in textiles, in oil, in an innumerable number of economic sectors in Argentina and the world”, highlighted Sergio Massa during the launch of the organization that will be in charge of carrying out practice that text of law voted by the National Congress in June 2022. The meeting was the first after learning of the decree that appointed the board of directors.

“Finally…” was the word chosen by a relevant actor in the cannabis industry to spread the link that allows reading the decree signed by Alberto Fernández, Juan Manzur and Sergio Massa. Appoints Francisco Jose Echarrencurrent mayor of the municipality of Castelli, as President and the other four members of the Board of Directors; summons the provinces to present representatives of the Federal Council so that they have an active participation in the granting of licenses to produce; and give more details of the functions and obligations of the appointed members.

Ariccame is the main tool to motorize the text of the law sanctioned in May of last year. It is a decentralized body that operates under the Ministry of Economy and will be in charge of establishing and enforcing the rules of the game for each link in the cannabis production chain: from granting administrative authorizations for use to regulating the import, export, cultivation , industrial production, manufacturing, marketing and acquisition of seeds of the cannabis plant, cannabis and its derivative products for medicinal or industrial purposes.

“This is the starting point of a process that starts with having the board of directors formed so that, within it, the necessary consensus can be generated to work on the regulations that regulate the operation of the industry, that define how they are going to be granted the licences, what will be their purpose, among other relevant issues”, he assured in dialogue with PageI12 The publication was barely known to the president of the Argentine Chamber of Cannabis ArgenCann, Pablo Fazio.

the directory

The decree assigned Francisco José Echarren as president, a position proposed by the Ministry of Economy. The mayor is already in his third term in the Buenos Aires municipality of Castelli. From his municipality, Echarren promoted the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes and advanced in the creation of one of the most important cannabis research, production and commercialization poles in the Province, through a public-private association with the company Universal Growing. “I don’t know his career, but he is very willing to chat with industry representatives,” they say from the cannabis world.

The vice president, who according to the law must be proposed by the Ministry of Health, will be the doctor Marcelo Morante which is currently in charge of the operation of the registry of medicinal users of the Ministry of Health. His last name, known to him in the cannabis environment thanks to his militancy, and his appointment applauded by industry sources consulted by PageI12. The remaining members were Gabriel Giménez, Valeria Rudoy and Mercedes La Gioiosa, proposed by the Ministries of Agriculture, Science and Technology and Security, respectively.

Comparative advantages

The decree highlights that Argentina “has clear advantages comparative for the developing of Medical and Industrial Cannabis, having important scientific and technological capacities in agricultural matters, favorable climatic and soil conditions, as well as an extensive network of laboratories that have shown interest in investigating the properties and applications of cannabis”. The numbers calculated by the then Ministry of Productive Development, from where the legislation was created and promoted, are the creation of 10,000 new jobs, 20 percent of which will be in areas of investment, development and innovation. In addition, it will generate 500 million dollars in sales to the domestic market and 50 million dollars in exports annually by 2025.

Other benefits highlighted by the portfolio are that the industry promotes genetic development and high value-added chains of more than 200 differentiated goods and services (seeds, automation, medicinal products, among others). For now the business is still incipient. The countries that concentrate the cannabis trade are Canada, the United States and Israel. Colombia and Uruguay, which are the most advanced in terms of legalization in the Latin American continent, export less than 15 million dollars per year together.

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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