Your Gate to Latin American IP

Hemp a crop of national interest

By BKM | Berkemeyer - 21/09/2020

On August 28, 2020, Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez issued a decree declaring hemp a crop of national interest with the aim of creating a national program to support advance research and development and commercialization of industrial hemp.

On October 2019, Abdo Benítez had already signed the regulatory decree for the controlled production of industrial hemp or cannabis. The policy change allows every farmer family in Paraguay to cultivate up to a maximum of slightly under 5 acres of low-THC industrial hemp.

In February, Paraguay granted the first 12 licenses allowing companies to become vertically integrated producers of medical cannabis, paving the way for the South American country to become a low-cost producer of the drug. The selected companies are now able to import seed, cultivate, manufacture and distribute medical cannabis both domestically and for export. Paraguay took a novel approach by allowing only pharmaceutical laboratories to apply for licenses, according to local sources.

Besides medical cannabis, Paraguayan officials foresee the production of fiber for textiles, oil from the plants’ seeds and flour from hemp green matter.

“The decree is a major landmark in the advancement of hemp in Latin America, and probably in the world,” said Lorenzo Rolim da Silva, President of the Latin American Industrial Hemp Association, interviewed by Hemp Today, a website that supports global hemp industries. “By declaring hemp as a plant of national interest and assuring companies and farmers that hemp will be given priority and be incentivized, Paraguay is taking solid steps towards consolidating itself as a leader in the region,” Rolim da Silva added.

Hemp is emerging as one of the most rapidly growing agricultural and industrial markets that has emerged for decades, with applications including bioplastics, construction, high protein foods and beverages, food supplements, textiles, paper products, composites, biofuel and graphene substitutes. It has also major environmental benefits as carbon sequestration, enhanced biodiversity, land reclamation and phytoremediation, and environmentally responsible industrial and consumer products.  

By BKM | Berkemeyer - 21/09/2020
Subscribe to the Newsletter

BKM | Berkemeyer

Established in 1951, BKM | Berkemeyer provides expert legal services to local and foreign clients in Paraguay, gaining a global reputation for quality, expertise and professionalism.

BKM | Berkemeyer prides itself on the ability to meet clients’ needs directly, providing professional and practical advice of the highest quality through team-work and collaboration to render services in a thorough manner.

Lawyers in the firm are multilingual, speaking Spanish, English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian and Japanese, which facilitates efficient and expeditious communication.