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Argentina To Host Its First Big Cannabis Business Expo: 'Cannabis Improves People's Quality Of Life'

Natan Ponieman

Argentina will hold its first big cannabis conference, Expo Cannabis, Oct. 4 -6 at the La Rural event hall in Buenos Aires.

The event arrives at a key moment in the country’s regulatory history and the development of a nascent legal industry.

Inaugurating Argentina’s Cannabis Industry

The South American country is far behind its tiny neighbour Uruguay in terms of cannabis legalization, but things could soon change.

As the second-largest country in the region after Brazil, the Spanish-speaking nation is known worldwide as a major exporter of agricultural products.

Argentina’s cannabis industry is literally seeing its first sprouts. The country recently passed a law allowing for a medical and research program that begun pilot testing earlier this year.

Although the production and sale of medical cannabis is technically legal, the licensing process is still in its early stages.

In reality, only one experimental facility has been granted permission for cultivation and patients have no real access to products. Recreational cannabis is legally prohibited. 

“Our idea is to encourage the creation of a solid local industry, which is already starting to boom here in Argentina,” said Sebastian Basalo, one of the event’s organizers and a longtime cannabis advocate.

“We firmly believe that cannabis improves people’s quality of life. For those who use it, and even for those who don’t, because it creates jobs and the state benefits from tax revenue. The Medical Cannabis Law was a truly symbolic act in terms of governmental recognition of the plant’s medical capabilities." 

The expo is a meeting point for people from all sectors of society who are linked in some way to cannabis but lack a common space, Basalo said. 

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A Family Event

Basalo said he's happy with the country’s regulatory developments, but said Argentin faces a second major step: an understanding and acceptance of marijuana's benefits in Argentine society.

In that sense, one of the biggest purposes of the expo is providing an educational space where laypeople can learn about cannabis use, he said. 

The first day of the expo is dedicated to industry development, networking and B2B connections. 

"Representatives from foreing companies will be able to meet local representatives, producers, distributors and investors,” said Basalo, who also leads the publishing department at the country’s biggest cannabis-related publication.

The following two days are dedicated to informative programming, with an emphasis placed on medical cannabis. 

Organizers are offering free entry for children under 10 who are accompanied by parents. 

“We don’t want anybody to miss out on this because they didn’t have anywhere to leave their children during the weekend,” he said.

In Basalo's view, society has gone directly from viewing cannabis as a dangerous substance to seeing it as a panacea for every malady without stopping to catch its breath. 

"It’s neither the devil nor a miracle substance. It’s a plant with an enormous therapeutical power that must be known and understood."

Some of the lectures will cover topics related to the therapeutic uses of cannabis, such as:

  • Speaking to children about cannabis
  • Cannabis treatment for pets
  • Cannabis and sleep
  • Use of CBD oil
  • Cannabis and pregnancy
  • Cannabis treatment for anxiety and insomnia

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Photo from Unsplash. 

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