Well over a year since legalisation, the Peruvian government have announced guidelines to the public on the medical use and cultivation of cannabis in Peru.
While the guidelines on using medical cannabis are quite restrictive, cannabis with less than 1% THC is classes as hemp and will not be regulated.
Although medical cannabis is now legal in Peru (in theory at least), there has been sparse information from the government on how patients can gain access to this important medicine.
Now, finally, the wait is over and people know where they are in regards to medical cannabis laws. The guidelines also cover prescriptions and patient registration.
The guidelines for medical cannabis in Peru
Only medical surgeons will be able to give out prescriptions, for example and any advertising of cannabis products is to be forbidden.
There will be quality control on cultivated cannabis which will be carried out by the national centre for quality control (CNCC).
The ministry of health will oversee the whole process, carrying out periodic inspections of cultivation premises to ensure that the manufacture, import, distribution and prescription of cannabis is carried out exclusively for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.
Nobody must be having any fun or smoking cannabis for relief – this will not be tolerated.
1% THC and no smoking
The guidelines go as far as to define non-psychoactive cannabis as having less than 1% THC, and psychoactive cannabis as having 1% THC or more.
The regulations actually prohibit the combustion or smoking of psychoactive cannabis, so it would appear that these new are going to be extremely restrictive guidelines.
This is really not good news for medical cannabis patients. There are a plethora of conditions that are effectively treated with the THC from cannabis, so not allowing the full plant is actually an incredible home goal and a disaster for large numbers of medical cannabis users.
For some users (with Parkinson’s Disease for example) smoking or vaping is the only way to gauge the correct dose for them – something not possible with cannabis edibles.
The guidelines state (with some help from Google translate):
The combustion or smoking of Psychoactive Cannabis is excluded. It is part of the inspection process in the present regulations with the name of Cannabis for medicinal use.
Pharmaceutical products created using cannabis will be allowed – i.e. oils, tinctures, resins etc.
CBD flower (hemp) is completely legal
On the positive side, non-psychoactive cannabis with low THC content will be completely excluded from their regulations and referred to as ‘hemp’.
This opens the door for CBD flower to be sold without regulation in Peru – something that will surely happen in good time.
It would appear that Peru is going for a ‘locked down’ approach to cannabis, making it clear that they do not want people smoking psychoactive cannabis.
Unfortunately, this is a blinkered and misguided solution to the cannabis problem which may lessen the huge upturn in the economy that has been suggested.
This is not the opening of the cannabis floodgates, but a limited access program, similar to that of the UK. It’s a start, but it is a far cry from safe access for all.
It is without doubt that Peru could make good use of the financial benefits of a legalized cannabis market. However, heavily restricting access and making the smoking of cannabis prohibited may hinder this.