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On December 24, 2019, was published the Registro Oficial number 107, which contains the "Ley Orgánica Reformatoria al Código Orgánico Integral Penal" (the Organic amending the Organic Criminal Code Act). Cannabis, was excluded from the list of narcotic and psychoactive controlled substances, as one of the most important changes to the Ecuadorian law, which is very progressive this type of measurement compared with other legal systems in the Latin American region.

Specifically, the National Assembly has ordered the inclusion of the following general provision in the LEY ORGANICA DE PREVENCION INTEGRAL FENOMENO SOCIO ECONOMICO DROGAS (‘Organic Law on the Comprehensive Prevention of the Socioeconomic Phenomenon of Drugs and Regulation and the Control and Use of Controlled Substances’):

The article 220 of the Criminal Code has also been amended and says the following: “The holding or possession of drugs containing the active ingredient of cannabis or its derivatives for therapeutic, palliative or medicinal purposes or for the practice of alternative medicine (...), provided that a disease is proven through professional diagnosis.”

Also the production in Ecuador have been decriminalized – with obvious restrictions, and special permit from the Ecuadorian Government, and this is probably the biggest change on the law because under the old law Cannabis was authorized to grown it only for industrial purposes, under the new changes the planting, cultivation and harvesting needs a special permit*.

These amendments will enter into force in June 2020. The National Agricultural Authority has a deadline to issue the necessary regulations by October 2020.

The EcuaAssist Team

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