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
BRAGARD advised various Cable TV Service providers of the Montevideo metropolitan area, in the conflict maintained against the company Equital in relation to the rights of the open television channels, 4, 10 and 12 of the city of Montevideo.
The Media Act, Nº 19.307, established the obligation of cable companies to transmit signals from air channels which have a similar area of coverage to its. It also established that this obligation does not imply any payment from one party to the other. It is worth clarifying that this situation occurred in fact for more than 20 years.
The air channels of Montevideo, 4, 10 and 12, filed an action challenging the constitutionality of the Media Law, claiming among other things the declaration of unconstitutionality of the provision that establishes this compulsory license.
The Supreme Court of Justice declared the unconstitutionality of the above mentioned provision because it understood that violates Article 32 of the Constitution, since it does not provide the payment of a fair and prior compensation in favor of the air channels that see their property right limited.
Based on this declaration of unconstitutionality, Equital S.A., the company that has acquired distribution rights of channels 4, 10 and 12, pretend to charge a price to the cable operators that are in the same area of coverage of said channels and therefore are forced to transmit these signals, contrary to a practice that is more than 20 years old.
The declaration of unconstitutionality of the article that imposed the gratuity was a great challenge to face by the defense of the cable companies. As cable companies are obligated to transmit air channels, if they were allowed to charge a price, it could lead to a situation of abuse, as it actually happened.
In December 2017, Equital S.A. initiated several precautionary measures against different cable companies which operate in the Montevideo metropolitan area, by which the cable operators were instructed by a judicial ruling to stop transmitting the air signals of Montevideo. This was a serious issue for the cable companies, not only because the quality of the product that they offer, but also because as they must transmit these channels, complying with the sentence meant breaking the law. Dr. Juan Orticochea of Bragard Law Firm advises and represents a large part of the defendant cable companies.
Already in 2018, Equital S.A. had filed a lawsuit claiming damages and a condemnation that prohibit transmission the air channels of Montevideo against several of our clients.
To date, we have achieved the reverse of a large part of the judicial decisions and the precautionary measures have been lifted. We have also answered Equital’s claim. Although the case is still ongoing, we trust that the decision will be favorable to the interests of the cable companies, based on a series of arguments such as there is no civil liability of the cable companies, as well as the manifest illegitimacy of the prohibition pretension of Equital S.A., as our clients are expressly required to transmit these channels.
BRAGARD acted as legal advisor in the sale of the majority percentage of the leading e-commerce platform in Uruguay WoOW, which was acquired by the supermarket chain Ta-Ta, owned by Argentine businessman Francisco De Narváez.
In the operation, BRAGARD advised the sellers: the venture capital fund Tokai Ventures and the private equity fund InCapital; as well as the co-founder and current WoOW CEO Leonardo Silveira, who remained within the company.
With this operation, our firm continues to consolidate in M&A and persists to grow in the area of advising promoters in the innovation and digital economy segment.
BRAGARD is proud to announce its recent cooperation and alliance agreement with the European firm DRS Belgium (Deminor, www.deminor.com). Through this agreement, BRAGARD becomes Deminor´s representative office in Latin America and the main point of contact for its present or future clients in the region. In this way, Deminor expands its scope of services to Latin America and confirms its objective of granting financing to local cases in the region.
DRS assists private individuals, corporations and institutional investors from across the globe with recovering their economic losses caused by various types of misconduct. Typical situations include dissemination of false information, market abuse, violation of corporate, securities and anti-trust laws, breach of contract, bankruptcy or similar types of conduct.
Deminor is the leader in the European field of loss recovery. With more than 25 years of experience in the area, Deminor has actively supported 32 recovery cases in 12 different jurisdictions both in Europe and Asia. In 83.3% of all concluded cases Deminor’ clients achieved a positive recovery. The average recovery ratio was 40% (median: 41.9%).
With this agreement, our firm incorporates a new line of services, unique and innovative for the region. We trust our agreement with Deminor will become a long-term alliance, committed to the ultimate goal of obtaining fair compensation to those investors who suffered losses due to illegal conducts in the market.