Chile Is Now Home to the First and Largest Medical Marijuana Field in Latin America

Lead Photo: Reuters/Sebastian Martinez
Reuters/Sebastian Martinez

Last week, Colbún, Chile opened the largest (and first) medical marijuana field in Latin America. The field houses 7,000 marijuana plants and is regulated by the government. Daya Foundation, an organization that is working to legalize the use of medical marijuana, was given permission by the government to run the field, according to CNN.

Ana María Gazmuri, an actress/activist who is the Daya Foundation President, has become the face of the project. “It’s very exciting for me just to think about all of these wonderful plants that are growing are going to improve the quality of life of many people around our country,” she told CNN. “That’s the bottom line. We have heard of many stories, many cases and we know, we clearly know, how using cannabis for medicinal purposes when fighting against a serious disease can make a great difference.”

While Chile recently made it legal on a case-by-case basis for people to use marijuana medicinally, it is still illegal to sell, grow, or distribute weed. In 2014, a small-scale marijuana field in Santiago was OK’ed by the government, and the successful experiment has made way for this new project, which will yield more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana by spring for about 4,000 patients across Chile.

“We have nearly 7,000 plants we’re growing of different kinds and they’re going to be used as the raw material to elaborate medications for three important clinical studies. One will be conducted by the National Cancer Institute for cancer patients; the second one is for patients suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy and will be conducted by the San Borja Arriarán Hospital. The third clinical study is for patients suffering from non-cancer related, chronic pain and conducted by the Las Higueras Hospital in Talcahuano,” Gazmuri said.

Here are a few images of the field:

A worker inspects a plant at a medicinal cannabis plantation, part of a project by the Daya Foundation non-governmental organisation, in rural Quinamavida near Talca, Chile, January 18, 2016. Reuters/Sebastian Martinez

Reuters/Sebastian Martinez

But check out CNN‘s video if you want a closer look: