Santiago (AFP) – Workers in Chile began harvesting the country’s first medical marijuana crop Tuesday, breaking new ground in cancer treatment.
With the blessing of local authorities, the Daya Foundation, a charitable group, began harvesting some 400 plants sown last October under a special permit to extract cannabis oil to be given free of charge to 200 cancer patients as pain treatment.
The plants were sown in a small field measuring about 100 square meters (1,100 square feet) in La Florida, an affluent district of the capital Santiago.
They were taken to a heavily guarded enclosure after the harvest, and will be dried and sent to a laboratory for processing.
The first doses are expected to be sent to doctors in January 2016.
“This is about the dignity of patients who are dying every day in pain and with very expensive medical bills,” said Rodolfo Carter, the mayor of La Florida, at a ceremony marking the harvest.
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