Brazil approves medical marijuana, as Latin America drug taboo softens

World – Brazil has approved medicinal cannabis-based products, the country’s pharmaceutical regulator Anvisa said on Tuesday, becoming the latest drug-ravaged Latin American nation to sign off on medical marijuana.

The new regulations will be published in the country’s official gazette in the next few days and come into law 90 days after that, Anvisa said. It also set out specific rules for the manufacture, import, sale, packaging, marketing and regulation of the new class of cannabis-based products.

Latin America has suffered countless drug-related deaths in recent decades, and stop-start moves toward the legalization of medical – and even recreational – marijuana in countries like Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay represent a broader reassessment of drug laws in a region long-typified by aggressive prohibition.

Brazil’s decision is also part of a slowly changing worldwide view toward illegal drugs, with growing investment into the medicinal benefits of marijuana and other narcotics.

Nonetheless, in regional terms, Brazil may be arriving late, with both Uruguay and Colombia having both legalized medical marijuana and actively working toward gaining a firm foothold in the booming multibillion-dollar global market.