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Is Marijuana Legal in Argentina?

Argentina flag with a hand holding a marijuana infront of it

Medical marijuana is legal in Argentina. The South American country has also decriminalized small quantities of weed for personal use.

Additionally, a decree was passed in 2020 authorizing home cultivation for approved medical marijuana patients. And in May 2022, Argentina passed a law regulating the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries.

In other words, Argentina has approached the legalization of industrial hemp and medical cannabis very methodically, most recently establishing a regulatory framework to oversee these industries.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Argentina

Argentina has approached medical marijuana legalization in a very progressive manner.

In 2017, the Argentine Senate passed a law allowing scientific and medical research into the medical use of cannabis and its derivatives. However, this law limited cannabis production to the federal government.

In 2020, a decree enabled Argentines to grow marijuana at home for medicinal purposes. Home growers must receive authorization, with patients approved on a case-by-case basis.

The decree also allowed pharmacies to sell cannabis products and ordered health insurers to cover cannabis medications for patients with prescriptions.

Finally, it also allowed those with an approved medical condition to access cannabis and its derivatives, such as CBD oil, including imported products.

Argentinian medical marijuana patients can choose to be registered in the state cannabis program, el Registro del Programa de Cannabis (REPROCANN). Inclusion in the registry is voluntary.

In 2022, President Alberto Fernández passed Law 27.669, which outlined a framework for the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries. The law detailed the creation of a national regulatory agency (ARICCAME) to regulate, control, and issue authorization to individuals and companies working with cannabis seeds, plants, or derived cannabis products.

Anyone in Argentina undertaking activities within the hemp or medical cannabis industries must receive authorization from ARICCAME.

With this law in place, Argentina is now in the process of setting up private and public cannabis cultivation and production facilities. ARICCAME is currently overseeing more than 45 cannabis-related research and development projects.

What to Know about Cannabis in Argentina

Argentina has maintained a progressive stance on cannabis since 2009, when small amounts of weed for personal use were decriminalized.

Since then, the Argentine government has identified the medical and economic benefits of the plant and is currently rolling out cannabis projects at a rapid pace.

Argentina Has Decriminalized Small Amounts of Cannabis

In 2009, a federal court in Buenos Aires ruled that penalizing the possession of small amounts of weed or other drugs was unconstitutional.

The ruling arose when two teenagers were arrested for the possession of marijuana and ecstasy at a party. Argentina’s Supreme Court upheld the ruling and determined that personal marijuana use is private behavior that does not represent a clear danger to others.

This ruling overthrew the government’s long-standing anti-marijuana law, which allowed for minor pot offenders to be sentenced to up to two years in prison.

However, there has been some confusion since the 2009 ruling. For starters, possession for personal use must be demonstrated by a small quantity of cannabis — but the ruling doesn’t clarify how much.

This ambiguity has meant police have, in some cases, continued to arrest people found with small amounts of cannabis. In court cases, judges have adopted different criteria for determining the quantity and the circumstances of each case.

For those caught with what is deemed a “larger quantity” of cannabis, it is still possible to be imprisoned for between one and six years for drug possession, four and 15 years for drug trafficking, and four to 16 years for drug smuggling.

CBD Is Legal in Argentina

Argentina legalized medicinal cannabis and CBD oil in 2017. The Argentine Senate passed a law allowing scientific and medical research into the medicinal uses of cannabis and its derivatives, which includes CBD.

Since then, Argentina has allowed pharmacies to sell cannabis products and cannabis derivatives and ordered health insurers to cover cannabis medications for patients with prescriptions.

Argentina Is Quickly Establishing Cannabis Cultivation and Production Facilities

Since the passage of 2022 legislation outlining a framework for the industrial hemp and medical marijuana industries, Argentina has been busy initiating cannabis research and development initiatives.

In the provinces of Jujuy, La Rioja, Misiones, San Juan, and Santa Fe, diverse projects are underway cultivating pharmaceutical-grade cannabis for medical purposes or experimenting with different cannabis genetics.

All of the projects are overseen and authorized by Argentina’s cannabis watchdog and regulatory agency, ARICCAME.

Can You Grow Cannabis in Argentina?

Argentina’s climate is varied due to the diversity of its landscapes and geography. Some regions, such as La Rioja and Jujuy, boast largely temperate, subtropical conditions with fertile soil, ideal for outdoor cannabis cultivation.

Approved Argentinians registered in the country’s medical marijuana program, REPROCANN, can legally cultivate cannabis at home. These approvals are issued on a case-by-case basis.

Medical marijuana and industrial hemp can also be cultivated in Argentina by public and private companies that have received authorization from ARICCAME, the national regulatory agency for the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries.

The Bottom Line

Argentina represents one of the more progressive countries in Latin America with respect to cannabis.

The South American nation has decriminalized weed in small amounts for personal use and legalized medicinal cannabis. Approved patients can even cultivate cannabis at home for medical use.