Like Brazil and Mexico before it, Paraguay has approved Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ (RSHO™), a non-psychoactive CBD oil, as the first cannabis-based product available in the country. The import permit was granted to the family of Mathias Alejandro Gonzalez, who suffers from a rare form of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and autism spectrum disorder. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is considered an intractable form of epilepsy, meaning it doesn’t respond to traditional treatments. The Gonzalez family was importing expensive but ineffective drugs from Spain when they decided to give RSHO™ a try.
Mathias was diagnosed with both epilepsy and autism.
We couldn’t be more excited that Paraguay is requesting our CBD hemp oil brand, RSHO™, as the first for government-approved importation. It brings full-circle the efforts of creating systems and infrastructure in order to provide reliable access to our CBD hemp oil brands to individuals around the world,” stated Dr. Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc.
The Direccion Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria in Paraguay approved the importation certificate on April 15th. The import permit allows the family to acquire one bottle of Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s RSHO™ liquid, which contains 1000 mg of hemp derived CBD. The Gonzalez family had to petition the health authorities in Paraguay for the right to treat their son with CBD hemp oil, arguing that their son deserved to pursue treatment with cannabis as a basic human right.
Paraguay has approved the first import certificate for CBD oil to Mathias.
Unlike in the U.S., where CBD oil products are sold as dietary supplements, many countries classify all forms of cannabis, even hemp, as illegal. However, the hemp derived CBD oil products from Medical Marijuana, Inc. have already been the impetus for change in South and Central America with both Brazil and Mexico approving RSHO™ as a legal import. In the Caribbean, Puerto Rico has authorized the use of medical marijuana for those over 21 with the recommendation of an authorized physician.
The use of Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ has spread recently in Latin America.
In addition to chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy, Brazil recently added cancer as an indication for the use of RSHO™. Brazil first approved RSHO™ following a grassroots campaign by Medical Marijuana, Inc. and their subsidiary HempMeds® Brasil aimed at educating Brazil’s citizens, doctors, and health officials on the medical benefits of CBD oil.
Mexico also recently permitted the use of CBD oil in their country. The first family approved was that of Grace Elizalde. Grace’s parents, Raul and Mayela Elizalde, are the founders of the Por Grace Foundation, a non-profit organization that has partnered with HempMeds® Mexico to help families interested in accessing a THC-free version of Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ called RSHO-X™. The Por Grace Foundation and the Elizalde family were instrumental in the process of securing the first permit for cannabis in Paraguay for the Gonzalez family.
The Elizalde family became involved in the movement for medical cannabis after their daughter Grace was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, causing her to suffer from the same autism and seizures as Mathias. Raul began the Por Grace Foundation to raise awareness for RSHO™ for his daughter after he became frustrated with ineffective traditional treatments. Medical Marijuana, Inc. and HempMeds® worked closely with the Elizalde family and Mexican health officials to secure permission for Grace to import RSHO™.
Ever since first allowing the Elizalde family access to RSHO™, the Mexican government has drastically changed direction in their marijuana policy. In a public address in April, Mexican President Peña Nieto laid out his plan to reform cannabis laws. Raul Elizalde preceded the President’s announcement with a sentimental speech commending Mexico’s compassionate new approach to cannabis.
Paraguay has had a tenuous relationship with cannabis since the start of the drug war.
Paraguay is showing signs of following Mexico’s lead. Although possession up to 10 grams is currently decriminalized in Paraguay, the country has otherwise taken a hardline stance on marijuana in the past, adopting a slash and burn policy to eradicate the thousands of hectares of cannabis growing in the rolling hills of Paraguay’s countryside and cracking down on traffickers who move the marijuana throughout Paraguay and over the borders into neighboring countries like Brazil.
Just as Mexico’s President used harsh language regarding cannabis in the past, Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes has said he is completely against legalizing marijuana, calling it an “addictive drug that destroys lives”. With the approval of RSHO™ for Mathias Gonzalez, Paraguay may be adopting Mexico’s new direction in cannabis policy.
Considering this trend among Latin American countries of adjusting their cannabis laws to fit the changing public acceptance of medical marijuana and rising costs of health care and law enforcement that strain the budgets of these developing economies, Medical Marijuana, Inc. has predicted a pattern of continued growth in the medical cannabis market in Latin America. With Brazil and Mexico already making up a market of over 320 million, Paraguay adds another 7 million citizens who could soon have full access to CBD hemp oil products.