January 25 (Reuters) – Argentina on Wednesday launched the first working group of a new national agency tasked with regularizing and promoting the country’s nascent cannabis industry, which ministers hope will create new jobs and revenue-generating exports. for the South American nation.
“This opens the door for Argentina to start a new path in terms of industrial exports, based on huge global demand,” Economy Minister Sergio Massa said at a launch conference. the national hemp and cannabis agency, ARICCAME.
“All this must be transformed into an industry that generates work, that generates exports for Argentina and that generates value.”
Massa said that the agency will start from Thursday to regularize the programs and coordinate with the different provinces and the industrial sector, adding that Argentina already counts on the demand for projects related to the agro-industrial sector.
Francisco Echarren, who will lead the agency, said the industry could generate thousands of new jobs, as well as create technological developments and new products for export.
“We have a huge challenge ahead of us,” he said, “not only to build a new industry, but also to give millions of Argentines access to products that improve the quality of life. “.
Argentina has legalized cannabis oil for medical use in 2017allowing the federal government to cultivate marijuana for research and therapeutic purposes.
In 2020, Argentina allowed people to grow marijuana at home for medical purposes. The executive order also allowed pharmacies to sell cannabis-derived products and ordered insurers to cover marijuana-based drugs for patients with prescriptions.
Uruguay has become the first modern country explicitly legalizing the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana in 2013. In Colombia, President Gustavo Petro has also spoken of more regulation to boost the country. infant industry.
(Reporting by Sarah Morland; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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