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By Maria del Pilar Falcon, Esq.
Llona & Bustamante Abogados
San Isidro, Peru

After several debates, and repeated requests by a large part of the population that have, or are relatives of people who have, ailments or chronic diseases without the possibility of cure; the Congress of the Republic of Peru approved Law 30681, which regulates the medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis and its derivatives, on November 17, 2017. The purpose of the Law is to guarantee the fundamental right to health, allowing access, exclusively for medicinal and therapeutic use, of cannabis and its derivatives.

Through this law, the informed use, research, production, import, and commercialization of cannabis and its derivatives for medicinal and therapeutic purposes is permitted in Peru.  The Ministry of Health is the entity in charge of creating the appropriate registries in order to adequately control not only the entities in charge of the import and commercialization, development, investigation, etc. but also of the patient users. That is, not everyone can use cannabis for medicinal use, but a person must be registered to be able to use it for that purpose.

With the enactment of this law, Peru is the fifth Latin American country to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes; after Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Uruguay.

It is necessary to indicate that in Peru the possession of marijuana for personal and immediate consumption was already allowed, but limited to eight grams of marijuana, or two grams in the case of its derivatives. Possession of more than eight grams, except in the case of medicinal use, is considered to be illicit drug trafficking, an offense that is punishable by imprisonment for up to 25 years.