Chile inaugurates the Latin America’s biggest medical cannabis farm

Latin America's largest medicinal marijuana farm was formally inaugurated on Tuesday, marking another step in the region's growing acceptance of therapeutic uses for the formerly illegal plant.

It comes in the wake of the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use and cultivation, approved by Congress.

The 6,900-stalk plantation, located in the small town of Colbun, some 275 kilometers (170 miles) south of Santiago, will help treat some 4,000 patients from across Chile, organizers said.

Before the massive marijuana farm was established, La Florida district in the Chilean capital, housed an experimental plantation that was previously kept confidential.

The head of the foundation behind the project, Ana Maria Gazmuri, said opinions about the use of cannabis were shifting in traditionally conservative Chile.

"This farm will further permit people to see for themselves the reality of the plant, and what its uses are" 

That's what Gazmuri, a 1980s TV soap opera star and advocate of "holistic" medicine, told Reuters.

She further emphasized the weight of this development, considering how the traditionally conservative country is now becoming more radical about the use of the addicting substance.

Project organizers hope to harvest 1.5 million tonnes (1.65 million tons) of marijuana between March and May, under the supervision of the government's agricultural service.