Economy

Brazilian Medical Watchdog, ANVISA, has Approved Growing of Cannabis Sativa for Medical Purposes

Brazilian Medical Watchdog, ANVISA

ANVISA (Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria), the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency, is expected to allow the cultivation of cannabis sativa for medical purposes. As per reports, the watchdog organization has earlier rolled out its regulatory framework for the use of hemp. 

Earlier, Brazil has banned cultivation, harvesting import, export, and storage of cannabinoids. Further, the substance extracted from Cannabis sativa L, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) was also listed in prohibited products. THC and CBD are the psychoactive substance of cannabis plants. However, in 2014, several scientific researchers have unveiled the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids.

Scientists and researchers have proved that cannabinoids are beneficial in treating patients with severe ailments such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, and malignant neoplasms. In the last few years, ANVISA has taken a liberal stance on this issue. According to an estimation, between 2015 and 2019, the regulatory agency has approved more than 9,000 requests of the various organization to import medicines made from the extract of cannabis.

After the recent amendment, the parents of an autistic child with severe epileptic seizures will be able to grow cannabis for pharmaceutical uses. Although there are enormous benefits of cannabinoids, societal concerns like political pressure and the monopoly of the pharmaceutical industry can’t be foreseen. In that scenario, a lot depends on how ANVISA manages and regulates pharma companies to look out for the democratization of medicinal cannabis.

Another noteworthy fact is the agricultural benefits of cannabinoids are: it can be used to draw fibers for the pulp industry or as a raw material for the textile industry. Agribusiness is a fundamental source of the economy for Brazil. On top of that, Brazil is one of the world’s leading suppliers of agricultural products. The US-based consultancy firm, New Frontier Data has roughly calculated that the cannabis production will allure $5 billion in investments over the next three years.

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