Brazil postpones vote on key marijuana proposals, raising questions about their future

Voting on resolutions to regulate the cultivation and registration of cannabis-based medicines in Brazil has been postponed, the Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária – or National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) – announced Monday.

Voting was originally scheduled to take place Tuesday. The delay throws the future of the groundbreaking proposals in doubt.

The reason given for the postponement was that directors of the agency made suggestions to modify the original text of the resolutions. This means the other directors and technical teams need time to evaluate those changes.

The proposed changes and the identities of who suggested them were not disclosed.

The issue will now be taken up at ANVISA’s next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 15.

Approval requires a simple majority of the agency’s five directors.

ANVISA’s proposals generated intense opposition from certain sectors of the government.

Local industry sources who spoke with Marijuana Business Daily fear that voting could be further postponed.

If the vote isn’t conducted before December, the chances of approval would drastically decrease because new members of the directory, appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro, would substitute current members, who are in favor of the proposals, including ANVISA Director-President William Dib.

By December, Bolsonaro will have appointed three of the five members of the Collegiate Board of Directors.

Currently, Brazil is the largest Latin American medical cannabis market, despite having a restrictive, import-only framework.

More than 10,000 authorizations have been granted since the beginning of the program in 2014, and there are currently about 5,000 active patients.