Miguel Torres, lawyer and defender of the cannabis industry


We have conducted an interview with Miguel Torres, a lawyer specializing in private international law and professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona, who has also been President of the Foreign Investment Commission of the International Union of Lawyers. In addition, he has advised the company that obtained the first authorization granted by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) for the cultivation of cannabis for research purposes.

Miguel has shared with us his reflections on various legal and regulatory aspects related to cannabis, offering a unique vision based on his deep knowledge and experience in the field.

In the complex international panorama surrounding cannabis, Miguel Torres emerges as a prominent figure with extensive experience and a deep commitment to human rights, as well as a defender of rights in the Cannabis industry.

Career and post-specialization in the cannabis industry

Miguel Torres shares how his academic and professional career led him to specialize in private international law, which addresses the coexistence of different legislations in the world. His interest in the cannabis industry arose from his commitment to human rights and a desire to explore the legal aspects related to this plant.

With a 25-year career as a professor of international law at the University of Barcelona, Torres has explored the complexities of legal division and has dedicated himself to commercial law, always maintaining a concern for fundamental rights, especially freedom of expression.

His foray into the field of cannabis began 27 years ago, when he became one of the founding partners of Cáñamo magazine, an initiative dedicated to addressing various aspects related to this plant.

The development of the cannabis industry

Since then, his experience and knowledge have expanded, advising companies in the sector and playing a crucial role in high-impact cases, such as advising the pioneering company that obtained the first authorization from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS). ) for the cultivation of cannabis for research purposes.

It highlights the lack of precedents and the legal complexity surrounding this process, as well as the historical importance of this authorization in the context of the regulation of the cannabis industry in Europe.

Evolution of international cannabis regulation

One of the most notable facets of his career was his role as president of the Foreign Investment Commission of the International Bar Association. Torres offers his perspective on how international regulation around the cannabis industry has evolved in recent years.

Among the legal challenges he identifies, Torres highlights the paradox that exists in many countries where the recreational use of cannabis is legal while medicinal use is not yet regulated. It highlights the paradox between the legalization of recreational use in some countries and the lack of regulation of medicinal use in others, as well as the complexity of regulation in Europe compared to America.

This disparity leaves the cannabis industry on uncertain ground. However, Torres envisions a promising future for scientific research in this field, underscoring the importance of overcoming stigma and prejudice through knowledge and research.

Importance of laboratory analysis in the cannabis industry

As an advocate for quality and accuracy in cannabis laboratory analysis, Torres emphasizes the crucial role these laboratories play in consumer protection and informed regulatory decision-making. It highlights the need for comprehensive information beyond THC, as well as the importance of collaboration between legal and scientific experts.

“Cannabis analysis laboratories fulfill a social function since they serve to protect the consumer, so that they know exactly what they are consuming. They are essential so that harmful products due to possible contamination do not reach the consumer,” he points out.

Torres comments: “I think there is an obsession with THC. There are other elements, compounds of the cannabis plant, such as terpenes, aromas, that condition the effects of cannabis. Even in the US you can see how laboratories are misrepresenting THC levels, inflating them, making it appear that there is more than there really is. Just because there is market pressure in this regard. That is why it is necessary that the analyzes show that THC is just one more element, that it is not everything.”

Collaboration between experts

Torres highlights the importance of collaboration between different professionals to address challenges and promote the sustainable development of the cannabis industry. In an uncertain and constantly changing field, collaboration becomes a fundamental pillar to guarantee regulatory compliance and quality standards.

Torres highlights that we are facing an incipient industry, new in an uncertain field, with often inadequate regulation, in which the scientific evidence on the uses of cannabis continues to be questioned.

Vision in the new panorama of Europe

With the recent approval of the cannabis law in Germany as a backdrop, Torres reflects on the impact of this legislation on the legal and social landscape of Europe. It highlights the recognition of the right to self-cultivation in Germany and points out the differences with the regulations in other countries of the European Union.

“This recognition gives the possibility of growing 3 plants individually, and collectively by a group of up to 500 people.


Another thing is practice, we have to see how German legislation can be applied. Well, in some way it requires that all members of the growers’ association participate in the cultivation tasks. I would like to imagine how these 500 partners participate in the cultivation tasks for all of them, it is the most important challenge,” he comments.

Photographer: El País

Reflection on legal and social diversity in the world of Cannabis

To conclude the interview, Torres reflects on the legal and social diversity in the world of cannabis. It highlights the importance of respecting the laws and regulations of each country and the need for a pragmatic and collaborative approach to address challenges and seize opportunities in this constantly evolving industry.

“I think that medical use is becoming more recognized every day, we have even just seen how a country like Ukraine in a phase of war has just provided a law for the use of cannabis precisely for those injured in the war,” he highlights.

The use of medicinal cannabis

Cannabis has other uses, says Torres. “When we talk about medicinal cannabis, it is that intended for sick people. And we must keep in mind that the majority of the population is not sick, it is healthy. Therefore, the products that can be most successful on the market are products intended for healthy people.”

It highlights that hemp can offer an enormous number of products, without psychoactivity, that is, without psychotropic effects, with purely food or cosmetic uses. “In Spain, as well as in Portugal, we have an absurd persecution of the cultivation of the hemp plant.”

Torres affirms the importance of distinguishing hemp from marijuana, that is, non-psychoactive cannabis, whose fundamental active ingredient is CBD because it has a nutritional value and a cosmetic value. “The food value is still under study by the EU, although the European food safety agency EFSA is expected to give its approval in October this year.”

The paradox of finding CBD-based cosmetic products in pharmacies stands out, particularly creams not only for skin care, but also creams for physiotherapy, that is, to soothe muscle pain, products that are not cosmetics, that are not medicines.

“It is surprising how these products can be marketed in Spain, when the production or cultivation of hemp for the production of CBD is not permitted. This means that all of these products that are being sold use an ingredient manufactured outside of Spain. The question is: why can’t it be manufactured in Spain?

In summary, the interview with Miguel Torres offers a deep and nuanced insight into the challenges and opportunities in the legal world of cannabis, underscoring the importance of collaboration, knowledge and respect for legal and social diversity.