Panama's Congress approves medical cannabis bill in unanimous vote

PANAMA CITY, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Panama's national assembly unanimously passed a bill on Monday that would regulate the use of medical cannabis, making it the first nation in Central American to do so.

The proposal, which would set up a registry of authorized cannabis patients and permit further research on the drug, was approved by a vote of 44 lawmakers in favor and none voting against it.

Assembly President Crispiano Adames hailed the bill as "innovative," citing multiple ailments that can be treated with cannabis once the proposal becomes law.

The bill now awaits the signature of President Laurentino Cortizo.

(Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Kim Coghill)

((david.aliregarcia@thomsonreuters.com; +52 55 5282 7151; Reuters Messaging: david.aliregarcia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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