The cannabis farm is located in central Chile near the town of Colbun and has been placed under tight security from Chileancarabineros and oversight from government agricultural authorities. The exact location of the plantation is being kept secret until the harvest next April when the marijuana buds will be converted to cannabis oil and then distributed to an estimated 4,000 patients throughout Chile.
Under an agreement between the Daya Foundation, the University of Valparaiso and the prestigious Knop Laboratory, the oils will also be used in longer-term clinical trials.
Local mayor Pedro Fernandez was also enthusiastic as he noted that “there will be two hundred patients from the [local] community who will receive free doses.”
Throughout Chile an estimated 20-25 municipalities have voted in favor of the plan and submitted applications to both defray costs of the operation and receive oil for several hundred patients from each participating community. Support for the measure has ranged from Karol Cariola, the wildly popular communist member of congress to Rodolfo Carter formerly of the extreme right-wing UDI Party.
Despite overwhelming approval from the Chilean public – public opinion polls estimated that nearly 70% approve legalizing marijuana for medical purposes – the socialist government of Michelle Bachelet has sought to scale back a bill in Congress that would authorize recreational marijuana plantations of 6 plants per household and personal possession of 10 grams.
Karla Rubilar, a member of parliament and doctor, accused the government of abandoning the recreational cannabis law and called for immediate approval of the law that she has sponsored but which remains stalled in legislative limbo.