Paraguayan Farmers Hold Marijuana Harvest Festival in Paraguay
A marijuana harvest festival in an area of Paraguay usually known for its drug trade has raised hopes among local farmers for legalization that would allow them to grow the plant for medicinal purposes.
The rural community of Aguerito in eastern Paraguay welcomed hundreds of visitors over the weekend for a 'cannabis tour' of farms operating in a gray area: medicinal cannabis is legal in the country since 2017, but it must be imported. Local cultivation is currently not allowed.
The farmers who organized the event are part of a group that has abandoned traditional agriculture, betting on growing weed. They hope the festival will catch the attention of lawmakers, encouraging them to back new legislation to help small farms.
Un law Project aimed at regularizing the bud industry, from seeds to sale, was introduced to Congress in late 2022, but it is unclear whether it will pass.
Paraguay is already a major global producer of illegal cannabis, exporting extensively to neighboring Brazil and other South American countries.
“There was already marijuana in the area when we came here 32 years ago,” said farmer Eulalio Lopez. “But we were afraid to work with it, we didn't even talk about it at the time. It was just a 'grass'. »
Only a handful of laboratories import cannabis into Paraguay for use medicinal legal, but sell it at exorbitant prices, said Jorge Rolon, the farmers' legal adviser.
"Our country has enormous potential," he said, touting the richness of the soil and the power of the product of the South American nation. "It's an opportunity that Paraguay cannot miss".