In October, Ecuador’s agriculture ministry (MAG) launched hemp rules, within the type of Acuerdo Ministerial No. 109 (English). This follows the Nationwide Meeting’s 2019 decriminalization of hashish with a THC content material of lower than 1.0% THC (which entered into compelled on June 21, 2020).

The rules distinguish between industrial hemp (cáñamo para uso industrial) and hemp (cáñamo), additionally known as non-psychoactive hashish (hashish no psicoactivo). Each are authorized, however their regulation is barely completely different. Frankly, the rules could possibly be somewhat clearer on the subject of defining each classes. In essence, nonetheless, industrial hemp is that used for actions comparable to fiber manufacturing, whereas “plain” hemp is used to make shopper merchandise.

Underneath the rules MAG is tasked with the licensure of entities that want to take part within the hemp business. These entities should be both integrated or domiciled in Ecuador.

MAG will difficulty seven varieties of licenses:

  • License 1: importation and commercialization of hemp seeds and cuttings (together with seeds for industrial use)
  • License 2: sowing and manufacturing of hemp seeds and cuttings (together with seeds for industrial use)
  • License 3: hemp cultivation
  • License 4: industrial hemp cultivation
  • License 5: hemp processing and manufacturing of hemp derivatives
  • License 6: plant breeding and/or germplasm banks, and analysis
  • License 7: acquisition of derivatives and/or biomass or hemp flower (together with biomass for industrial use) for export

Essentially the most permissive of those is License 3, which permits holders to additionally have interaction within the actions permitted by License 1 and License 2. As well as, License 3 holders can purchase hemp biomass or flower from different License 3 holders, in addition to export these merchandise. Nonetheless, they can not promote hemp derivatives for human or animal consumption, until they concurrently maintain License 5; this license can be required to import biomass or derivatives. Imported derivatives should adjust to the identical necessities as derivatives produced in Ecuador, together with labeling necessities contained in Article 15 of the rules. The rules prioritize home manufacturing by authorizing imports provided that home manufacturing falls quick. Nonetheless, it’s anticipated home manufacturing will likely be inadequate, presenting a possibility for overseas producers.

It should be famous the rules distinguish between derivatives and completed merchandise. Derivatives are outlined as “oils, resins, tinctures, crude extracts … used or supposed for use as uncooked materials for the manufacturing” of completed merchandise.” In flip, completed product is outlined as “a product obtained from hemp derivatives, for human or animal use, and which is duly authorized to be used underneath Ecuadorian legislation.” Such merchandise embody “processed meals, dried flower, drinks, meals components, meals dietary supplements, cosmetics, homeopathic merchandise, medicines, medical units, processed pure merchandise for medicinal use, and veterinary merchandise.”

The rules clarify that completed merchandise are outdoors MAG’s purview. Said in another way, not one of the licenses described above will enable the importation of ready-to-use hemp merchandise. Further regulatory approval should be obtained.

Lastly, the rules present for limitations within the variety of licenses issued, in addition to the amount of hemp that’s allowed to be cultivated. With this in thoughts, events ought to transfer promptly to acquire their licenses. That is notably the case for overseas corporations that first want to ascertain a department in Ecuador, with a view to avail themselves of the alternatives created by the brand new authorized framework.

We wish to thank Quito legislation agency Bustamante & Bustamante for offering us with an English model of the rules.