Industria Legal – The Cannabis and Hemp Industry Generates Expectations in Ecuador


DATE: 02-07-2021


Felipe Samaniego

December 2019 was a month of legal changes in Ecuador. First, the Organic Law Reforming the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code was published. Still, it was not until June 2020 that it came into force, reforming the Organic Law for the Comprehensive Prevention of the Socioeconomic Phenomenon of Drugs and the Regulation and Control of the Use of Listed Substances Subject to Control. The magazine Industria Legal dedicates a page to the information offered about this matter by our expert partner in Regulatory Law, Felipe Samaniego since this reform gave way to Ecuador’s new cannabis and hemp industry.

The exclusion of substances subject to control to cannabis and hemp with less than 1% THC in dry weight and a term of 120 days for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to issue the corresponding regulation are among the new reforms.

Not only that, but also, through this agreement, new guidelines are established applicable to the regime of seven licenses, different for each activity allowed in the non-psychoactive cannabis industry, hemp and hemp for industrial use, “from the import and production of seeds to the production and export of derivatives, biomass and/or flowers,” according to Samaniego.

Our expert ends his article stating that “the rapid development of the regulatory framework that regulates the activities of agroindustrial activities, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, caused that both the Ministry of Health and the National Agency for Regulation, Control, and Sanitary Surveillance (ARCSA) as well as the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Phytosanitary and Zoosanitary (AGROCALIDAD) issue the normative bodies that regulate finished products destined for human and veterinary use and consumption that have derivatives of non-psychoactive cannabis or hemp in their composition ”.

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PharmaBoardroom – Emerging cannabis and hemp industry in Ecuador

PharmaBoardroom - Emerging cannabis and hemp industry in Ecuador - CorralRosales - Lawyers Ecuador


DATE: 28-06-2021


Felipe Samaniego

With the Criminal Law Reform enacted a year ago, the cannabis and industrial hemp industry has become an emerging industry in Ecuador. Our partner Felipe Samaniego writes about it for Pharma Boardroom.

Samaniego begins the article by writing about what’s new since the reforms now include decriminalizing the possession of drugs that contain cannabis or derivatives as an active ingredient for therapeutic, palliative, medicinal use, or alternative medicine.

The Law for Drug Use, Prevention, and Control is also modified with the change, which now excludes the control of non-psychoactive cannabis or hemp.

On October 19, 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture issued Ministerial Agreement No. 109-2020, which regulates the Import, Sowing, Cultivation, Harvest, Post-harvest, Storage, Transportation, Processing, Marketing, and Export of non-psychoactive cannabis or hemp and hemp for industrial use.

Samaniego adds that “this regulation establishes the requirements that must be met to obtain the seven types of licenses, which authorize the following activities only concerning cannabis or hemp with a THC concentration of less than 1%:

  1. License for Import and Marketing of Non-Psychoactive Cannabis or Hemp Seeds or Cuttings, or Hemp Seeds for Industrial Use.
  2. License for the Import and Commercialization of Non-Psychoactive Cannabis or Hemp Seeds, or Non-Psychoactive Cannabis or Hemp Cuttings or Hemp Seeds for Industrial Use.
  3. License for the cultivation of cannabis or non-psychoactive hemp.
  4. License to grow hemp for industrial use.
  5. License for the processing of non-psychoactive cannabis or hemp and production of non-psychoactive cannabis or hemp derivatives.
  6. License for Banks and Research of Plant Improvement and/or Germplasm.
  7. License for the Acquisition of Non-Psychoactive Cannabis or Hemp Derivatives and/or Biomass or Flowers, or Hemp Biomass for Industrial Use for Export.

As soon as this came into effect, the Ministry of Health and the Agency for Health Regulation, Control, and Surveillance had to develop regulations applicable to finished products. This happened because the Criminal Law “also opened the door to producing and importing finished products,” according to our partner.

Samaniego also adds that at the end of February of this year 2020, “the Health Regulation, Control, and Surveillance Agency issued a resolution with the ‘Sanitary Technical Regulations for the regulation and control of products for human use and consumption that contain cannabis non-psychoactive or hemp, or its derivatives.” This resolution makes it possible to legally produce, import, and commercialize the following finished products with the THC concentration specified in each category:

  • Less than 1% THC: general, natural pharmaceutical products processed for medicinal use and homeopathic. Also cosmetic products and medical devices; hygienic products for industrial use; pesticides for domestic use, for public health or for industrial use; household hygiene products and absorbents for personal hygiene.
  • Less than 0.3% THC: processed foods and food supplements.

On February 26, Ministerial Agreement No. 148-2021 was also issued after a meeting of experts developed regulations for the prescription, provision, and therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis and pharmaceutical products containing cannabinoids.

Samaniego concludes by pointing out that “the regulatory framework for cannabis / hemp has moved relatively quickly in Ecuador and has opened the eyes of many local and international investors. The authorities are aware of what this industry can generate for the country regarding research and investment. Ecuador is the only country in the region that has shown such openness; the players will be able to develop a myriad of producs as long as they abide by all the rules. As a result, this area is expected to become a research and development group for cannabis and hemp products to be sold worldwide.”

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LexLatin – CorralRosales promotes two partners and area leaders in Quito



DATE: 11-07-19


Andrea Moya
Felipe Samaniego

MEDIA: LexLatin

The Ecuadorian company CorralRosales announced the appointment of Felipe Samaniego and Andrea Moya as new partners in regulatory and tax practices respectively. The firm now has a total of nine partners.

Samaniego is the leader of the regulatory group. This group is comprised of professionals and specialists in different fields such as veterinary, pharmacology, food and additive. Moya is in charge of the tax area which is made up of three professionals.

Both specialists told LexLatin about their promotions. Andrea Moya said that in this new challenge, she is focused on continue being a leading team in the analysis of complex operations including cross-border transactions, trading of international production units, and tax planning for companies wishing to operate in Ecuador.

At the same time, Samaniego stressed that he accepts the challenge of consolidating the firm as a benchmark for regulatory matters in the country. To achieve his goal, he assured that he counts with a regulatory team that combines industrial experience and in-depth knowledge to advise foreign mass consumption companies seeking to enter the Ecuadorian market and local manufacturers too about the schemes that best suit their needs and allow them to have control over their products as well.

About our new partners

Felipe Samaniego has more than three years of experience in the area of regulatory law, with emphasis on matters related to food law, advertising, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, biologicals, agricultural, cosmetics, hygiene, food and beverages. He also handles issues of foreign trade and quality standards.

Some of the companies assisted in the regulatory area are Roquit Benckiser, Pacari, Clorox, Ferrero, Nestle Ecuador, and Grupo Familia.

Before joining Corral Rosales in 2009, Felipe was a legal assistant at Ernst & Young. He also worked at Tobar & Bustamante in 2006. He graduated from University of the Americas (Mexico).

Andrea Moya has specialized in the tax area for more than a decade. She has extensive experience in consultancy matters and in the representation of clients in administrative and judicial processes leading the definition of strategies and generation of tax structures both local and international.

The client portfolio of the tax area Andrea leads includes Panamanian Aviation Company (Copa Airlines), Ferrero, Marriot International Hotels Inc., General Motors, Terpel-Comercial Ecuador Cia. Ltda., Nestle Ecuador SA, among others.

Andrea graduated as an attorney from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and holds a Master’s Degree in Tax Law from the same university. She also holds a Master’s Degree in International Tax Law from New York University (NYU).

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