Brazilian court approves commercial hemp cultivation for one company

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears at Marijuana Business Daily.)

A company in Brazil successfully appealed to a court for permission to cultivate hemp on the same day that the Brazilian government decided against creating rules to allow domestic cultivation.

The decision could spur other hemp companies to turn to the judicial system to gain permission to cultivate the plant.

Brazil has a law from 2006 allowing cannabis cultivation for medical or scientific purposes, but it hasn’t been implemented.

In fact, the Brazilian health authority, ANVISA (National Sanitary Surveillance Agency), on Tuesday shelved a proposal that would have created rules for companies to apply for cannabis cultivation license.

However, the court’s decision authorized Schoenmaker Humanko, part of the Terra Viva group – a large Brazilian floricultural company – to import hempseeds of varieties with less than 0.3% THC to grow in Brazil.

The ruling allowed the company to “sell the seeds, leaves and fibers exclusively for industrial purposes, including as inputs” under supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and ANVISA.

In the decision, the judge said that hemp cannot be treated as “marijuana” because the company “doesn’t intend the authorization of its use for medicinal or pharmaceutical purposes, but only to import and grow the seeds for subsequently selling various products for industrial purposes.”

Arthur Ferrari Arsuffi, one of the lawyers defending the company, told Marijuana Business Daily his interpretation is that the ruling allows the company to “supply the pharmaceutical industry.”

The preliminary court decision can be appealed.

Paired with ANVISA’s refusal to grant cultivation licenses, it signals that cases of companies seeking grow permits from the judicial system could increase.