Yesterday it was announced that a Uruguayan company completed the first export of psychoactive cannabis flowers – with at least 1% THC – for medicinal purposes.

This is a historic achievement in the development of such local industry, which begins a new stage of international projection. But it is important to note that it is also an arriving point after several years of development.

Having achieved the referred export implies that in Uruguay, at least the following was satisfactorily completed:

– Having a legal framework that enables the development of all -and any- of the activities involved: from agricultural, through industrial, until commercialization; in addition to research and investigation.

– Implementing proceeding for granting licenses by a specialized authority, the Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA).

– Developing cultivation, harvesting, drying and storage of cannabis.

– Installing and managing laboratories to develop industrial activities such as extraction, processing and packaging of cannabis products, with sanitary authorizations by the Ministry of Public Health.

– Reaching Good Manufacturing Practices and international certification standards required by the international industry.

– Aligning criteria and procedures between the local authorities responsible for the control of substances and customs (mainly the Ministry of Public Health and the National Customs Agency), as well as with the authorities of the importing country (Germany in this case).

– Having a favorable legal framework for attracting foreign investment, in addition to the existence of tax incentives and exemptions (for example, free trade zones).

– Having good reputation in terms of transparency and policies for the prevention of money laundering, and a specialized agency that intervenes in the control of the origin of funds and final beneficiaries (the National Secretariat for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism –SENACLAFT-).

By Florencia Berro