Chile Reporting — 26 January 2017

26 January 2017. Viña del Mar.

In this post we explain the current status of the law in Chile regarding medical marijuana.  We also explain how you can get a prescription for marijuana in Chile and where you can join a club to buy that.

In short, in Chile it is legal to smoke and grow marijuana for medical use.  It is not yet legal for recreational use.  That bill was approved in and has been stuck in the lower house of congress for some time waiting to be sent to the Senate.  Still, there are more than 500 marijuana seed shops just in Santiago.   It is legal to possess marijuana but the terms of that are not clear.  For example the law says it must be for “immediate consumption” and that it is for “personal use.”  But the law does not say where you are supposed to obtain marijuana. Growing marijuana here can cost you 5 years in prison.

In Chile, President Bachelet approved Decree 84, allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Also an actress, Ana María Gazmuri, started the organization Fundacion Daya to lobby for changes to the marijuana law.  Now they are also one of the organizations you can go to to get a prescription for medical marijuana.  They also have a large marijuana farm where they produce 1.5 tons of marijuana per year.

Daya is also supposed to be working with the pharmaceutical industry on finding, producing, and distributing cannabis products.  Pharmacies are allowed to do that here.  But no one trusts the pharmacies, because they have a history of price collusion and already costs the citizens plenty. No pharmacy has stepped forward yet to sell marijuana.  Regular marijuana obviously is lower priced than whatever product a pharmacy might produce.

Municipal Marijuana Farms

A few years ago one of the mayors of one of the largest communities in Santiago applied for a permit with the agriculture department to plant a large amount of marijuana. The goal was to produce hash oil for epilepsy, cancer, and other patients.  The mayor said the government never responded to his application.  So the mayor said it was approved by default.  Now there are are many large plantings of marijuana in the country.

Where to Get a Prescription

Dr. Sergio Sánchez Bustos is one of 4 doctors at the Fundacion Latinoamericano Reforma.  They write prescriptions there for medical marijuana.  The doctor told me that there are only perhaps 10 doctors in the country doing that now.  But that number is certain to grow as word gets out.

A visit to the doctor costs 25,000.  There is no formal list for what illnesses marijuana is allowed.  For example, Dr. Bustos will write prescriptions for chronic pain and anxiety.  So it is not just restricted to people with epilepsy or cancer.

Where to Get Marijuana

You can grow your own or you can buy marijuana by joining one of several clubs.  Two in Santiago are Green Life and Dispensario Nacional.  There are others, like FASIMC.  As of January, Green Life had a waiting list.  Dispensario Nacional has no waiting list and says in 6 months they will open a branch in Viña del Mar.  They grow the marijuana themselves, in greenhouses.

Their prices for marijuana are 7,000 to 8,000 CLP per gram and 20,000 to 30,000 for hash.  And membership is 12,000 CLP per month. Currently they have 50 members.  Fundacíon Data gives its hash oil away for free.  The clubs are not allowed to make oil as the regulations require that be made by a laboratory.

The dispensary has an office in a skyscraper in Providencia.  The point being it is in the open and not hidden away.  And Dr. Bustos’s office is right next to the capitol of Chile.



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