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Brazilian Presidential Candidates Duck and Cover on Recreational Cannabis Reform

Brazil continues to move forward with medical cannabis reform. The National Health Surveillance Agency approved 2 new medical cannabis products at the beginning of each month. With this approval, the total approved number of medical cannabis products will be 18. The majority of those available are still only CBD—ten out of the total are extracts made from cannabidiol. You can only buy them in pharmacies or drug stores.

This is cannabis reform in its current state. du jourBrazil is a country where this victory was not easy to achieve. Even though entire cities have resisted him, President Jair Bosonaro (right-wing) is still unable to stop any attempts to move forward.

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Unfortunately, many fence-sitters exist. Then again, given the current political climate, even one step forward represents progress—even of the tortoise variety.

How to Kick the Political Pot

CNN asked all the pre-candidates their views about reform. These are the main takeaways for the men who wore the ring.

Bolsonaro was the only candidate who did not respond. However, nobody needs him to. Bolsonaro’s track record on legalization is very clear. Even mocking the most recent legislative efforts to regulate it, Bolsonaro has made no secret of his record on legalization.

The other four all spoke in favor of medical use—but none support recreational reform.

Canada to Remain The Only Recreational Reform Country In The American Hemisphere

When it comes to drugs policy, both South America and Central America have had an unfortunate experience with the U.S. Brazil is witnessing this right now. All threats to the American banking system are included. These were previously used to slow down dispensation at places such as Uruguay.

Given the current struggle at the U.S. Federal level, staying on the side of medical is an easy political move.

Brazil is not alone in confronting its Prohibition legacy and trying to find the right next steps.

The positive news, of course, is that this is a serious question at the national level—and so is full reform.

Great Medical vs. The Great Recreational Divide

Although the scenario in Brazil is well-known to many, the United States has not been affected by the debate. What should the federal government do when allowing recreational marijuana?

In the U.S., the issue of states’ rights has clouded the topic in a way unseen in Europe or other countries.

There have been many different models. Holland is the first, which allows an illegal market to thrive based upon the gray exceptions of the law. Spain has a similar situation. Both countries are trying to formalize their markets, and determine how they should interact (or overlap).

Canada was another country that allowed patient associations and groups to become the basis for a recreational and commercial market. This model has led to reforms elsewhere, despite some ambiguities in financing and certification. The Netherlands was the first to supply Germany with medical products in 2017, and Germany is the second.

Germany is on the verge of passing some form of recreational reform before 2022. It is possible that the transition will be slow here, although for different reasons. It’s highly probable that EU-GMP certification will be needed by the first market movers.

The first recreational products will need to meet a higher standard to be eligible for the market.

Regardless, there will be plenty of fireworks and drama if the cultivation and distribution bids were anything to go by—starting with challenging the inherent unfairness of the status quo. It is difficult to imagine anything else, as the Health Minister will be the one responsible for crafting new legislation regarding recreational reform. Bundestag.

Legalization can be difficult anywhere.

Just ask Joe Biden.