By: Isabela Amorim
Eyes and attention are focused on the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária – Anvisa), the Brazilian regulatory agency responsible for the execution of sanitary control, regulation, approval and supervision of pharmaceutical, health services, medical devices, among others. It is expected to establish a new regulation on the use of hemp for medical purposes by the end of the year. If enacted, the new regulation from Anvisa will allow the controlled cultivation of Cannabis sativa for medicinal purposes and the registration of medicines produced with active ingredients of the plant in the country.
This regulatory agenda is not essentially a Brazilian hot topic. This subject has been mobilizing the society, the scientific community and the sanitary/health authorities around the world. Approximately forty countries have already authorized the use of Cannabis for medical purposes. If Anvisa meets the international health trend, Brazil will also be part of this avant-garde group.
Regulating the use of substances extracted from this plant will not only bring social gains – since there are numerous scientific researches attesting therapeutic benefits on the substances found in Cannabis -, but also will bring economic benefits. The American consultancy New Frontier Data estimates that the Cannabis business may attract US$ 5 billion in investments over the next three years.