In October, Ecuador’s agriculture ministry (MAG) launched hemp laws, 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 laws distinguish between “industrial hemp” and “hemp,” additionally known as “non-psychoactive hashish”. Each are authorized, however their regulation is barely completely different. To be sincere, the laws may very well be a bit of clearer in relation to defining each classes. In essence, nevertheless, industrial hemp is that used for actions resembling fiber manufacturing, whereas “plain” hemp is used to make client merchandise.

Underneath the laws, MAG is tasked with the licensure of entities that want to take part within the hemp trade. These entities have to be both included or domiciled in Ecuador.

MAG will problem seven sorts 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’t 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 the labeling necessities contained in Article 15 of the laws. The laws prioritize home manufacturing by solely authorizing imports if home manufacturing falls brief. Nonetheless, it’s anticipated this would be the case, presenting a chance for overseas producers.

It have to be famous the laws distinguish between derivatives and completed merchandise. Derivatives are outlined as “oils, resins, tinctures, crude extracts … used or meant 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 authorised to be used beneath Ecuadorian legislation.” Such merchandise embrace “processed meals, dried flower, drinks, meals components, meals dietary supplements, cosmetics, homeopathic merchandise, medicines, medical gadgets, processed pure merchandise for medicinal use, and veterinary merchandise.”

The laws clarify that completed merchandise are outdoors MAG’s purview. Said in a different way, not one of the licenses described above will permit the importation of ready-to-use hemp merchandise. Extra regulatory approval have to be obtained.

Lastly, the laws 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 significantly the case for overseas corporations that first want to ascertain a department in Ecuador, with the intention to avail themselves of the alternatives created by the brand new authorized framework.

We wish to thank Bustamante & Bustamante for offering us with an English model of the laws.