On September 21st, The Latin American Industrial Hemp Association (LAIHA) inaugurated the first dispensary in Paraguay, and South America, in Ciudad del Este, in the far east of the country, on the banks of the Paraná River. The company that owns the dispensary is called Life Green and includes a wide variety of hemp and cannabis Sativa-based products with up to 0.3% THC in their formula. The derivatives vary in their presentation including food, cosmetics, and medicines.
In communication with La Nación, Marcelo Demp, president of the Paraguayan Industrial Hemp Chamber (Cámara del Cáñamo Industrial del Paraguay, CCIP) said that the establishment will have unique and exclusively natural items without any chemical component extracted from nature. They will offer a range of experiences to break down the stigma surrounding the plant.
"It is the first establishment in South America and has Dinavisa establishment registration. This is going to bring Brazilian tourism that is going to come to buy their electronics and then be able to go to the dispensary, anyone who knows its benefits is going to want to go to Ciudad del Este to take advantage of the benefits," explained Demp.
The dispensary will also focus on presenting the various benefits that cannabinoids provide to health without generating dependence, contributing to personal wellbeing, and above all taking care of the environment; they will also carry out information about the products.
"To reach this stage, there was a lot of work involved. Dispensary personnel are fully capable of explaining to those consumers who are unaware of the benefits or if they do not know how to consume," added Demp. The raw material is produced through planting done by local rural families and indigenous communities in 14 departments of Paraguay, thus generating environmental and socioeconomic impact.
"It is the first dispensary in South America, Mexico has one, so it would be the second in Latin America. A very important day to show how advanced we are in Paraguay, that we are leading the whole region." Mr. Demp also emphasized this is a novelty in the region, and they expect it to become a tourist attraction. In this context, they plan to open two other dispensaries in shopping malls in Asunción. In addition to Encarnación and around Shopping China.
Paraguay Marks Another Historic Milestone
The South American country made history again when it exported oil, proteins, and other non-psychoactive cannabis derivatives to the United States market and, for the first time, to Australia and Canada in August 2022. Approximately 40 producers, distributed between San Pedro, Caaguazú, Cordillera, Guairá, and Itapúa, with an extension of some 60 productive hectares, were part of this first stage of hemp production, with planned first harvests for September.
"The 500% growth compared to last year's gain, concerning the number of products developed and brought to market until today. It reflects in the quantity and diversification of the finished products, all industries are included", emphasized the president of the CCIP.
Currently, Paraguay has 200 finished products in different categories, with registration, regulations, and inspections. Thanks to this revolutionary vision, many companies are already exporting to Europe, the USA, Canada, and Australia. There will be product distribution to Costa Rica, which is interested in becoming a significant ally to Paraguay distributing in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.
"This is an industrial revolution in which Paraguay leads by far the whole region, and will position it as a cannabis power for the world", concluded Marcelo Demp.