In general, Peruvian laws and regulations prohibit the growing, import and commercialisation of cannabis. Those activities are exclusively reserved for the Peruvian State when there are medical or scientific reasons that support such activities.
With Law N° 30681, enacted on November 2017, (“Cannabis Law”) the Peruvian State has recently allowed individuals and legal entities to use, investigate, produce, import and commercialise cannabis and its derivatives, which are destined exclusively for medical and therapeutic purposes.
The Regulations of Law N° 30681 (“Cannabis Regulations”) were published on February 2019. These regulations make a distinction among psychoactive cannabis and non-psychoactive cannabis based on the quantity of THC, where:
(i) Psychoactive cannabis: is defined as the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding seeds and leaves not attached to the top) of which the resin has not been extracted, whatever their denomination, whose content of THC is equal to or greater than 1% (dry weight), and that are destined for medical or therapeutic purposes, as palliative therapy for some diseases. Combusted use or smoking of psychoactive cannabis is excluded. This type of cannabis is designated as “cannabis for medical use”.
(ii) Non-psychoactive cannabis: is defined as the cannabis plant, and any part of such plant, whose content of THC is less than 1% (dry weight). This term is designated as “cáñamo” or “hemp”.
The consequences of the distinction are that:
- activities related to “cannabis for medical use” are subject to the granting of licences for scientific research, import and/or commercialisation, and the production of such licences is regulated in the Cannabis Law and Cannabis Regulations.
- activities related to “cañamo” or “hemp” are not within the scope of the Cannabis Law and the Cannabis Regulations and are therefore not subject to the granting of the licences referred therein. However, further regulation from the Ministry of Agriculture relating to the criteria and conditions to be met for the growth and industrialisation of “cañamo” or “hemp” are pending approval.
- however, further regulation from the Ministry of Agriculture relating to the criteria and conditions to be met for the growth and industrialisation of “cañamo” or “hemp” are pending approval.
As to authorisation, Peruvian law provides for different types of licences. Licence for scientific investigation - to be granted in favour of universities and/or agriculture or health research institutions. Licence for import and trade - to be granted in favour of individuals or legal entities. Licence for production - to be granted exclusively in favour of public entities and certified laboratories.
Patients shall be registered in the “Registry of Patients that consume cannabis for medical and therapeutic purposes”. The commercialisation of products derived from cannabis should be in the charge of authorised pharmaceutical establishments, and the patient (registered in the Registry described above) should submit a special prescription issued by certified medical doctor.
Any violation to such law can be sanctioned with: (i) the cancellation of the licence granted; and/or (ii) any civil, administrative or criminal sanction that may correspond. In the case of (i) public servants granting licences irregularly, or (ii) medical doctors, pharmaceuticals, or any health professional, prescribing or facilitating cannabis to patients not duly registered (in the “Registry of Patients that consume cannabis for medical and therapeutic purposes”), criminal consequences will apply.
The Criminal Code of Peru, sanctions: (i) the acts of promotion, facilitation financing, or growing cannabis without the corresponding licence, with a prison sentence not less than eight years and no more than 15 years; and with a 180 to 365 day fine, and professional disqualification; and (ii) the act of trading and transferring seeds of cannabis without the corresponding licence, with a prison sentence of not less than five nor more than 10 years, and with a 120 to 180 day fine, and professional disqualification.