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Brazil’s Federal Council Of Medicine Creates Confusion With New Cannabis Guidance

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Brazil is the most populous country in South America. With a population of over 200 million people, Brazil makes up almost half the population on the continent and dwarfs the next most populous country in South America, Colombia (roughly 50 million people).

It’s a safe bet that there are a considerable number of suffering patients in Brazil, many of which that would likely benefit from using one or more types of cannabis products for medical purposes.

Unfortunately, Brazil’s medical cannabis program is still limited in many ways, with many suffering patients not qualifying for the country’s emerging medical cannabis program because their condition or conditions are not on the list of those that qualify for safe access.

To make matters worse, the nation’s Federal Council of Medicine issued new guidance this month that would further limit who can qualify to receive medical cannabis. Per Globo:

Eight years after its last guidance on the use of cannabidiol, the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM) published this Friday (14) a new standard aimed at guiding how doctors should treat the subject.

With no advances and more restrictive, CFM resolution No. 2,324 authorizes cannabis products to be used only to treat some cases of epilepsy. The text also prohibits the prescription of “any other derivatives (of cannabis sativa) other than cannabidiol”.

The new guidance is the target of considerable pushback from a wide array of stakeholders, and not just patients. Members of the emerging cannabis industry, as well as members of the medical community, were quick to offer criticism.

One major point that is being made by experts from all types of backgrounds is that Brazil had previously authorized the sale of CBD medication for multiple sclerosis in pharmacies. The new guidance obviously contradicts that prior authorization, as well as other practices that are common in Brazil right now.

The guidance puts doctors in a really tough situation and clearly limits their ability to treat patients. It will be interesting to see if the guidance is actually incorporated, or if it is legally challenged and/or scraped in the future.