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Argentina Authorizes Nonprofit Patient Cannabis Collectives

While it may sound “old hat” to cannabis industry experts in North America, the government of Argentina has just made a bold move that will allow patients to access medical cannabis in a way not seen in most reforming jurisdictions elsewhere. The Argentine Ministry of Health granted special licenses and permits to nonprofits that can grow cannabis for patients.

Each NGO is allowed to offer cannabis to 150 individuals, as well as cultivate and maintain multiple properties. The Registry of the Cannabis Program will require patients to register. Nonprofits with more than 150 registered patients may request authorization to increase these patient counts for the National Program for study and research on medicinal cannabis.

This resolution modifies the March 2013 Argentinian Resolution 673, which created and regulated REPROCANN’s operation and established the fundamental parameters of controlled cultivation to medical users. 


A nonprofit can grow up to 9 plants for each patient. Each organization will have access to up to 6m.2Indoor cultivation up to 15m2This is for the purpose of outdoor cultivation. Autorized people will permit up to 6 bottles (30ml) of marijuana extract to be carried by vehicles.

This program was created to make it easier for users of medical cannabis to have guaranteed access and to allow other parties to offer the same to registered patients.

Argentine Cannabis Reform

Since the Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling on cannabis in Argentina, personal use has been legalized. The general acceptance of public consumption is good. We have not had to regulate medical consumption. It is illegal to grow, sell or transport cannabis.

The Argentine Senate approved CBD oil for medical purposes in March 2017. Late November 2020, President Alberto Fernandez issued a decree that allowed self-cultivation and medical access to cannabis.

The Right Thing Argentina Is Doing

While hardly the most prominent cannabis reform program globally, it appears that the Argentine government is taking a page out of other reform programs that have been implemented elsewhere—as well as what has not worked.

In the USA and Canada, for example, patients’ collectives that were similar to the ones in Argentina formed the foundation of legalization. The regulation of the cultivation and growth of coffeeshop crops is not yet in place in Holland or Spain. Because the whole process is in an unregulated gray zone, transporting between the cultivation area and the location of consumption or sales remains dangerous.

The idea of formalizing patient groups has yet to catch on in Europe. At present, only Switzerland has plans to implement cannabis clubs that are federally regulated—although the first dispensation of the same will still occur in pharmacies.

Germany has stopped all discussion on patient groups and non-profits. They are currently establishing guidelines to allow recreational marijuana use, which is incredibly slow. In a complex maze of bureaucratic red tape, patients are left alone to manage their own affairs. These include the unwillingness of doctors to prescribe cannabis extracts/medicines (and more importantly cannabis flower), and repeated rejections by state regulators. 

Patients who are not able to get it are often forced to use the black market. This is not good for their health and can lead to them being subject to criminal sanctions.