Brazil joins the procession of countries allowing the use of certain forms of cannabis-based treatment.
The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), the Brazilian government body responsible for authorizing new drugs, has just approved the medical use of cannabis products.
The new regulation will be published in the official journal shortly and will become law 90 days later. Specific rules have also been established to produce, import, market, package and regulate these new products. The regulations will be revised in 3 years as these products are currently under review around the world.
The sale of these cannabis-based treatments will be done exclusively in pharmacies and specialty stores.
Prescribing rules vary according to the THC level
When the products contain THC concentrations below 0,2%, the drug will be prescribed with a specific number. In addition, a new prescription will be required within 60 days.
However, those containing a THC concentration greater than 0,2% will only be prescribed to terminally ill patients and to people who no longer have any therapeutic alternatives.
Brazil does not yet put definitively on medical cannabis
Despite the authorization to market these products in Brazil and opening a new market, the country is still far from what can be observed elsewhere in South America, such as Uruguay, Colombia or Chile.
Authorizations granted by Anvisa for the import of products containing medicinal cannabis have increased from nearly 900 in 2015 to more than 2700 this year. This data has tripled in just four years. Brazil is estimated to have a business potential of several million dollars with a population of nearly 210 million.