Medicinal Cannabis Observatory

By: Juan Sebastian Chaves Gil

Mayor Jorge Iván Ospina Gómez of Cali has taken a historic step by enacting a decree that establishes the first Medicinal Cannabis Observatory in Colombia and Latin America. This institution will play a crucial role in monitoring the effects of medicinal cannabis on health and will be composed of a diverse representation, including members of civil society, entrepreneurs, academics, and officials from the District Health Department.

Despite the regulatory framework created in Colombia through Law 1787 of 2016 to ensure safe and informed access to the medical and scientific use of cannabis and its derivatives, many myths and unanswered questions persist. The appropriate dosage, the proper treatment, the origin of marijuana-based medications, and even whether they meet good practice standards are still unknown.

Mayor Ospina has stated that the Observatory will take on the responsibility of providing traceability for various medicinal cannabis products, allowing for the identification of production quality, medication traceability, and their application in different diseases. In this way, it is expected that the issue of medicinal cannabis will cease to be a myth and will be properly regulated by local authorities.

The Medicinal Cannabis Observatory will fulfill four essential functions. Firstly, it will promote social appropriation of knowledge through research and dissemination of findings related to medicinal cannabis. Additionally, it will provide information to the community and focus on identifying risks associated with the consumption of medicinal cannabis. Finally, it will play a key role in training both professionals and the general community.

Organizations interested in participating in the Observatory must submit proposals to designate their representatives to the District Health Department, which will act as the technical secretariat. The composition of the Observatory will include delegates from the Departments of Security and Justice, Economic Development, Culture, as well as the Administrative Department of Environmental Management (Dagma), the Mayor's Office of Communications, and District and Departmental Planning.