Chile has begun harvesting its first and largest legal marijuana crop in Latin America in a rural area in southern Chile, according to media on Tuesday.
The initiative is authorised by the Chilean government. It aims to convert the buds of 6,000 marijuana plants growing near the City of Colbun; 192 miles (309 kilometers) south of the capital, Santiago into phytopharmaceuticals or painkillers, reports One India.
The converted medicine will cure 4,000 patients in Chile wretched from health disorders like cancer, refractory epilepsy and chronic pain such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis. The initiative is being supervised by a non-profit organization, The Daya Foundation.
“It is an important day. We want it to be the first harvest of many more to come in Latin American countries,” Ana Maria Gazmuri, president of the Daya Foundation.
At present, the organisation has hired 60 workers. They are all ordered to wear protective suits and rubber gloves while working in the field.
The marijuana field is secured by electric fences, a guard dog and several security cameras. Moreover, the field also has a phone connection directly connected to two major police offices.
The initiative is funded by 20 municipalities of the country. It also aims to produce three clinical studies, advanced by the Chilean National Cancer Institute and two hospitals, reports Herald Tribune.
In December 2015, a bill which allows the production and sales of drugs procured from hemp plants was passed by the Chilean government. Recently, other countries such as Puerto Rico and Colombia are also following the same edict.
During the later part of 2015, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet officially authorised the Institute of Public Health to monitor the use of marijuana for manufacturing the medical products for human use.
Since 2005, Chile has made several changes in the country’s drug legislation. This is in connection with the fact that marijuana is one of the easiest drugs to source in the country. Anyone found in possession of the illegal drugs can face five to ten years of imprisonment.
Although, Chile is planning a bill which could legalise the consumption and personal self-cultivation. It could also be listed among less severe drugs.