Argentine Cannabis: Legalization Coming Soon?

On November 4, citizens in five U.S. states could wake up to newly-approved measures to legalize recreational or medical cannabis. It appears November could also be a big month for Argentina, with reports indicating that a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use will be introduced next month in Argentina’s Congress. The bill is being drafted by Socialist Deputy Enrique Estévez (who, for followers of Argentine politics, is not part of President Alberto Fernández’ left-leaning coalition; the Socialist Party caucuses with opposition political groups).

Currently, Argentina is waiting for new regulations on medical cannabis, which was legalized in 2017, as we discussed in Malbec and Medical Cannabis: Have Them Both in Argentina. Estévez’ bill would decriminalize recreational cannabis use and allow home cultivation of up to 480 grams per year. Not coincidentally, sources close to Estévez are drawing parallels between the proposal and neighboring Uruguay’s existing framework. Uruguay’s own cannabis law also establishes a 480-gram annual limit for home growers (to learn more about Uruguay’s cannabis framework, listen to our Global Law and Business Podcast interview with Dr. Rodolfo Perdomo). However, while Uruguay aspires to become a cannabis export and research powerhouse, Estévez’ vision for cannabis in Argentina appears modest, focused

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