Panama advances import-only medical marijuana law

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After months of public discussion on a law to authorize and regulate medical cannabis in Panama, a draft bill has been advanced by a key parliamentary committee.

Members of the Labor, Health and Social Development Committee voted Tuesday to move the bill forward but to also strip the measure of domestic cultivation.

That means Panama’s market would have to be addressed solely with imported MMJ, which would open up export opportunities for international cannabis companies in Canada and Europe.

Medical marijuana would be dispensed through pharmacies in hospitals.

The bill would task regulating the industry to three ministries: Health, Agricultural Development, and Commerce and Industries.

The next hurdle for Draft Bill No. 595 is a second debate in the National Assembly.

Matt Lamers can be reached at