Peru’s only medical cannabis product is out of stock, not even three months after sales began.
This means patients have no option to legally access regulated medical cannabis in the domestic market, according to industry sources.
Francesca Brivio, who represents a Peruvian patients association, wrote on her Facebook page that there’s no “single, formal way to access medical cannabis” in Peru.
Last December, the Peruvian General Directorate of Medicines, Supplies and Drugs (DIGEMID) started sales of the first product in one of the agency’s institutional pharmacies.
The sales began after the government agency bought 10 liters of CBD oil with a concentration of almost 5% from Anden Naturals, an Oregon-based supplier.
The U.S. company won a supply application, beating Alberta, Canada-based Aurora Cannabis and Toronto-headquartered PharmaCielo.
Both Aurora and PharmaCielo were disqualified from the process for not offering the products at a presentation, as required by the government.
DIGEMID agreed to pay 27,868 Peruvian soles ($8,390) to Anden Naturals for 10 liters and began offering the oil to patients in 10-milliliter bottles for 47.70 soles upon prescription.
Andrés Vazquez, executive director at agribusiness consultancy ACM Peru in Lima, told Marijuana Business Daily that the current regulatory framework in Peru allows private companies to apply for licenses to produce, import and supply the domestic medical market.
“I don’t understand why regulators haven’t issued any licenses,” he said. “Instead, they’ve focused their efforts on having a government supply, of only one product, available in only one government pharmacy in the whole country and only during a couple of months.”
“This is clearly not enough for patients. The only real solution is that authorities implement the already existing laws and regulations.”
Anden Naturals CEO Curt Schwarz told MJBizDaily that the company expects “import licenses to be issued very soon so that we can guarantee product for patients who have already begun treatment.”
Alfredo Pascual can be reached at email@example.com