On June 14, the Sixth Panel (Sexta Turma) of Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice’s (Superior Tribunal de Justiça, or STJ) issued a decision allowing cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. The STJ is responsible for uniformizing the interpretation of Brazilian federal law across the country, and serves as the court of final appeal for cases that do not involve constitutional matters. While the STJ decision applies only to the three plaintiffs in the case at hand, it establishes a precedent that lower courts can follow.
Back in March 2021, in Cannabis for Brazilian Pets and Their Humans, we noted that Brazilian courts were granting habeas corpus petitions made by citizens seeking to grow their own cannabis for medical purposes, adding that it would be interesting to see if the trend resulted in judicial decisions of broader application. The STJ has now provided an answer, and one that represents good news for medical cannabis users.
Brazil legalized the prescription of cannabis products for medical use in 2014, but an ongoing prohibition on cultivation under Brazil’s Drugs Law (Law 11.343/06) forced consumers to rely on expensive imports. The three plaintiffs in the STJ decision had authorization from the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency