Peru opens the door to CBD medicines, with commercialization imminent

(A version of this story first appeared on Marijuana Business Daily.)

Peru is giving hemp-derived medicines the green light, with commercialization imminent once the respective companies obtain the necessary import permits.

Two hemp-derived products are registered as “cannabis-derived natural health products” in Peru.

Toronto-headquartered Ramm Pharma, a company with medical cannabis manufacturing operations in Uruguay, said last week that the Peruvian Ministry of Health approved its Epifractán 5% CBD product “for sale in pharmacies throughout the country for various indications as prescribed by a medical doctor.”

Epifractán is manufactured with an extract “obtained from a vine with high CBD content and less than 0.2% THC.”

Peruvian CannFarm will be the local distributor of Epifractán.

Peru has only one other registered “cannabis-derived natural health product” and it belongs to Canada-based Canopy Growth. Both products have CBD as the active ingredient, with minimum or no detectable THC, but can be sold only by medical prescription.

Niklaus Schwenker, director of communications and strategy for Canopy Growth Latin America, told Hemp Industry Daily that Peru “has one of the most advanced regulations for cannabis in Latin America and is a priority for the Canopy Growth in the region.”

With product approval already in place, the company expects to “serve Peruvian patients in the near term while continuing its physician-education activities through the Spectrum Academy,” Schwenker said.

Companies with registered products must obtain the necessary import permits to be able to receive the shipments and distribute to pharmacies around the country, Andres Vazquez Vargas, CEO of CannFarm Peru, told Hemp Industry Daily.

“After obtaining the import permit, we expect to receive the first shipment from Uruguay and start distributing to patients in Peru in the next weeks,” Vazquez said.

Ramm Pharma has been selling the product by doctor’s prescription in Uruguayan pharmacies since 2018.

Epifractán is also sold in other countries of the region, such as Brazil and Argentina, under “compassionate use” cannabis programs, which generally means the Uruguayan company ships case-by-case to specific authorized patients.

As of July 10, the public database of the Peruvian health authority showed 17 product registrations were submitted by six companies and were pending approval.

This is in addition to Sativex, a marijuana-derived treatment for multiple sclerosis. Sativex is manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom and was approved as a cannabis-derived pharmaceutical.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at [email protected]

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