Chile Plants First Medical Marijuana Seeds
On Wednesday, a Chilean municipality planted the country’s first medical marijuana seeds as part of a pilot program for cancer patients.
Chile has imported 850 seeds from the Netherlands for planting of a 9,150 square-foot marijuana garden in the capital city. Oil extracted from roughly half of the plants will be given to 200 patients selected by a municipality in the capital of Santiago and by the Daya Foundation, a nonprofit group that sponsors pain-relieving therapies.
The area will be heavily guarded and monitored to ensure that the product does not end up with unauthorized users. The land is surrounded by a massive electric fence.
In 2005, a law passed to allow for the use of medical marijuana in Chile but only with approval by the agricultural service. In 2011, it approved an effort but quickly overturned permission after health authorities expressed their disapproval. In September, the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture allowed for the cultivation of medical marijuana. The plan is to product an extract for trials involving 200 cancer patients that will initiate treatment in April 2015.
Although the permit is only for one year, Daya Foundation President Ana Marie Gazurri says she hopes it will be renewed. The Foundation will be overseeing the project and there will be a clinical study conducted on the effectiveness of the marijuana as a painkiller. If the program is successful, Chile’s medical marijuana program will be expanded to include other conditions as well.
(October 30, 2014 by Nicole Watkins)