Panama's Milestone in Medical Cannabis
Panama has taken a significant step in its healthcare sector by granting licenses to seven companies for manufacturing medical cannabis products. This move comes after the Central American country legalized medical cannabis in October 2021, showcasing its commitment to advancing medical treatments and research.
The First Cannabis Manufacturing Licenses
These licenses, awarded by Panama's National Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs, are the first of their kind since the legalization of medical cannabis. The seven companies granted licenses are Canna Med Panama, Consorcio Adeiwa Pharma, Consorcio Ecovid, Consorcio Green Med, Consorcio Panamericana de Cannabis, Consorcio Tilray Panama, and Farma Verde Corp.
Regulatory Framework for Medical Cannabis
In 2022, Panama adopted regulations via executive decrees to govern cannabis consumption and access for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific, and research purposes. These regulations apply to legal entities involved in the import, export, cultivation, and marketing of cannabis and its derivatives for medical or scientific use.
Key Aspects of the Cannabis Regulations
The decrees outline several critical aspects of the regulatory framework, including:
- Listing health conditions that qualify for medical cannabis use, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, HIV, and arthritis.
- Requiring licensed doctors to receive specialized training to prescribe cannabis.
- Establishing a patient registry.
- Stipulating that the National Directorate of Pharmacies and Drugs regulates import/export activities.
- Creating the National Directorate for the Monitoring of Activities Related to Medicinal Cannabis.
President's Statement on Medical Cannabis
President Laurentino Cortizo highlighted Panama's robust regulations for medicinal and therapeutic cannabis consumption, emphasizing the relief it brings to thousands of patients who have long awaited this solution.
Evaluation and Approval Process
The evaluation document for the seven businesses, detailing the comprehensive process and criteria for granting these licenses, is a testament to Panama's thorough approach in integrating medical cannabis into its healthcare system.