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Chile boasts largest medical marijuana farm in Latin America

Chile is now home to Latin America’s most impressive medical cannabis farm.

Latin America’s largest medical marijuana cultivation site “officially” opened on Tuesday, adding Chile to the growing list of countries in the region to recognize the medicinal value of cannabis, Reuters reports.

“This farm will further permit people to see for themselves the reality of the plant, and what its uses are,” said Ana Maria Gazmuri, a 1980s soap opera TV star turned-medical cannabis advocate who now leads the foundation behind the project.

Located in a small town less than 200 miles south of the capital Santiago, the 6,900-stalk plantation is estimated to harvest 1.65 million tons of marijuana between March and May, which should aid around 4,000 patients in Chile, according to organizers.

All cultivation will be supervised by the government’s agricultural service, meaning raids won’t be an issue.

Organizers say they will be working closely with various laboratories and universities to create cannabis-based therapeutic remedies for a number of conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and complications from cancer.

The medical cannabis farm’s announcement makes Chile yet another Latin American country to knock down barriers towards legalizing the plant.

Uruguay became the region’s first country to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes in 2013. A November 2015 court ruling in Mexico spurred their president to field national debates regarding legalization, which are scheduled to begin early 2016.

Even Colombia — a country long-associated with the failing War on Drugs — passed a decree in December legalizing the cultivation and sale of medical cannabis.

Gazmuri believes that Chile is ready for cannabis reform, as well as other issues not normally associated with the country’s conservative reputation.

“Regarding marriage equality, regarding cannabis, regarding abortion – the majority opinion is in favor of securing these rights,” Gazmuri told Reuters.

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