Brazil’s health care regulator, ANVISA, handed out the nation’s first license for the sale of a cannabis-based drug – one designed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
According to Reuters, U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals PLC developed the marijuana-based oral spray, which is known internationally as Sativex. It will be marketed in Brazil as Mevatyl.
Sativex is already sold in 28 other countries, according to ANVISA.
For several years, Brazilian patients have waged a legal battle to get around prohibitions targeting cannabis-based medicines. But in the past couple of years, according to Reuters, ANVISA has loosened some restrictions and allowed patients with medical recommendations to import marijuana-based medicines.
Brazil decriminalized growing and possessing small amounts of cannabis and other drugs more than a decade ago, Reuters reported. But buying and selling cannabis is still not allowed.