We reported on the approval of a new regulatory framework for hemp and medical cannabis by Argentina’s legislative body earlier this month. At the time, we pinpointed those who opposed the bill owing to their outdated thinking about cannabis. After a brief introduction, I’ll go through the general regulations that have governed the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries since their inception. It’s a mouthful to say it out loud: Marco Regulatorio para el Desarrollo de la Industria del Cannabis Medicinal y el Cáñamo Industrial.
Introducing the New Regulator
The new legislation establishes the Regulatory Agency for the Hemp and Medical Cannabis Industry, or ARICCAME (Agencia Regulatoria de la Industria del Cáñamo y del Cannabis Medicinal), as a division of the Ministry of Productive Development (Ministerio de Desarrollo Productivo). The new agency, ARICCAME, will be in charge of “the regulation, control and issuing administrative licenses for cannabis seeds, cannabis and its derivative items.” Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city, ARICCAME is permitted to establish branches across the country.
Advisory Body for the Regulator
A Federal Council for the Development of the Hemp and Medical Cannabis Industry (Consejo Federal para el Desarrollo de la Industria del Cáñamo y Cannabis Medicinal) has also been established. This council will provide guidance to ARICCAME. The composition of the committee (one representative from the national government and one for each of Argentina’s provinces) appears to be designed to amplify the voices of Argentina’s less-populated regions when it comes to hemp and medical cannabis policy. The Commission’s activities include proposing laws and regulations that “promote the constructive development of the industry in each market.” It is also responsible for promoting policies that favour “harmonious industry growth throughout the region.”
Under the new structure, ARICCAME is in charge of issuing licenses to import, export, cultivate, manufacture, market, and acquire cannabis seeds and cannabis derivatives. The agency must create clear standards for applicants in order to meet its obligations.
“We have placed special emphasis on applications that contribute to the development of local economies and encourage cooperative and agricultural SME activities,” according to Argentina’s new regulator, which is tasked with executing its licensure functions. Furthermore, when issuing hemp and medical cannabis licenses, the ARICCAME must take into account “the inclusion of a gender perspective and diversity.”
Fines and Penalties
The new legislation establishes penalties for regulatory infractions. When the licensee does not engage in authorized operations, his or her license may be cancelled.
Diesel is paid for by the litre, with each unit equalling one “Fixed Unit” or UF (Unidades Fijas) and costing about $1.00 USD at the time of publication. The price of a litre of diesel ranges from 100 to 300,000 UF. At current market rates, the UF. The representatives, or at least some of them, are presumably trying to avoid having the penalty system rendered ineffective as a result of a depreciation in the Argentine peso.
The new framework’s approval is just the start. ARICCAME must now be built up as a genuine agency. It’s conceivable that the new institution will place a premium on publishing application requirements while it searches for the light switches in its new offices. However, we are not banking on that, and the only thing we anticipate until late this year is a few meaningless declarations.
One thing to bear in mind is the fact that Argentina will hold presidential elections on October 2023. This may not have a significant impact on how ARICCAME goes, but it could influence the overall policy direction.