Medicinal cannabis: How to get access in Brazil

Although access is still very limited, there are a few ways to reach out to cannabis treatments legally in Brazil. In this post, we tell you a little more about the bureaucratic process.

In the last few decades, we have seen an exponential increase in studies on the therapeutic effects of cannabis in patients with numerous conditions and even diseases . A variety of researchers point that this amazing plant  can be a possible treatment for chronic pain, degenerative brain diseases, cancer and several rare syndromes that cause epilepsy, depression, anxiety and many more. And, even in a mostly prohibitionist context, here in Brazil it is already possible to have access to medicines derived from our beloved plant.

But this situation is far from ideal: imported products are out of reach for most of the Brazilian population, half of whom live on just R$ 413 per month (less than U$ 100). The price of Mevatyl, the main imported medication here in the country, is R $ 2,896.70, with slight variations to more or less. To date, only one national company has received authorization to manufacture products from cannabis.

So we believe that current regulations make treatment with therapeutic cannabis practically unsustainable, and we need the means to change all of that.

Do you want to better understand this situation and know what you can do to help? We’ll tell you here in this post!

Therapeutic cannabis in Brazil

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CBD oil

The Drug Law of 2006, was responsible for banning substances like Cannabis here in the country. In 2015, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorized, through RDC 17/2015, the exceptional import of cannabidiol-based products, in association with other cannabinoids, by individuals, for their own use, with the prescription of a legal professional enabled, for health treatment.

In December last year, Anvisa also approved the creation of a new category of products derived from cannabis. The approved resolution came into force on the 10th of March this year. As of this date, companies interested in manufacturing and marketing these products were able to apply for authorization from the agency.

In that year, we made another breakthrough: in April, the health authorization for the first cannabis-based product to be marketed in the country was published. According to the authorization, published in the Federal Official Gazette, the product is a phytopharmaceutical, with a THC concentration of up to 0.2%. The authorization, as requested by the company, is for the production in Brazil of the product based on cannabidiol.

And how to buy these products?

To become a patient using therapeutic cannabis, you need to go through a process with a few steps:

Step 1: visit a specialist doctor

The first thing you should do is consult a doctor who specializes in your case. Thus, he will make an assessment and guide your treatment. He will also give you the prescription, necessary to buy the medication or enter the import process at Anvisa.

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Cbd oil

Step 2: Anvisa authorization

If you do not find the medicine in availability and you want to import it, you must enter the Citizen Portal and ask for the agency’s authorization. This process can take seven to 30 days, and will request:

  • Product prescription;
  • Individual Registration;
  • Proof of address.

Step 3: release

Once your order is approved, you can purchase your product. Importation can be done through face-to-face, remote or online purchase. It is important to remember that the patient or guardian must import only the quantity authorized by Anvisa, being allowed to import only once or in installments.

Other options

This process approved by Anvisa may not be ideal for the entire population. Here in Brazil, not everyone has a financial situation that allows the import of a product based on cannabis (which can cost more than 3 thousand reais per unit). Others do not have access to a medical network that supports treatment. In such cases, our advice is:

Search for an association:

Therapeutic cannabis patient support associations are already spread across the country, and are the best means of ensuring support and guidance to those in need. If you are in doubt, contact and try to be part of them!

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Cannabis plant

Understand whether self-cultivation can be an option:

Here on the blog, we have already talked a lot about reasons for adopting self-cultivation, and even cleared up doubts about the topic with the lawyers from Rede Reforma. If this option sounds better to you, you can contact a trusted attorney and apply for individual Habeas Corpus to protect yourself under the law.

Fight for access:

Actively participating in the cannabis community is a way to fight for the democratization of access to products and medicines based on the herb. All the advances we have achieved to date have come from people willing to pursue this very important cause – after all, our right to health is guaranteed by the Constitution. We cannot turn a blind eye to a policy that hurts not only that, but several other rights of the population.

The fight for therapeutic cannabis cannot be left out. We need to guarantee a regulation that is able to supply all the demand of the Brazilian population, in addition to guaranteeing fair damages for so many people who have been harmed by this prohibition. After all, among other alarming data, we know that one in three prisoners in the country is responsible for crimes related to trafficking. This mass incarceration mainly affects the most vulnerable and peripheral populations – the main targets of actions and truculent approaches by the police.

Bringing information is also reducing harm and risks that this unfair policy creates, and we want each time more to be responsible for taking conscious and prejudice-free attitudes.

Let’s join and support this cause?

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