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Cuenca News

Medical marijuana rules developed, Tram needs 1,200 traffic lights, Panama hats sold in India

Tram system will require more than 1,000 traffic lights

Before Cuenca’s tram system begins operation in 2019, 1,182 traffic lights will be installed along the rail line. According to the project director, there will be signals for the tram conductors, pedestrians and vehicular traffic crossing the tracks. “The signals conform to national and international regulations and are intended to provide the greatest level of safety possible,” says Jaime Guzmán, tram project director. He adds that 560 lights will be installed for vehicular traffic, 412 for pedestrians and 210 for tram operators.

Panama hats now sold in India
A Panama hat made for the Indian market

For the first time, Ecuador is exporting Panama hats to India. The Devotie boutique in Mumbai is the first outlet for the hats woven from the tropical toquilla straw. According to Cristina Chiriboga, director of ProEcuador in India, the hat has become an immediate success in the downtown high-end fashion shop. “The hats are especially designed for the Indian market and exhibit the identity of both India and Ecuador,” she says.

Exports of the straw hats totaled $4.98 million in the past 12 months, a three percent increase over the previous year, with the U.S. France, Germany and Japan being the top markets. Most exported Panamas, or sombreros de paja toguilla, are manufactured in Cuenca.

Medical marijuana use rules developed

Rules for the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medical use are being developed by Ecuador’s National Assembly. “We are looking at all aspects of the production and dissemination process,” said a spokesman for the ministry of health, which is working with the assembly to develop the rules. “This includes the sowing, cultivation, harvest, industrialization, storage and dispensing of the product.” According to the ministry, a key provision of the new rules involves the licensing of those who work with medical marijuana. “Everyone in the supply chain will be thoroughly vetted,” the spokesman added.

In addition to the health ministry, the ministries of agriculture, interior, environment and defense will play oversight roles under the new rules. Local governments will be asked to monitor medical marijuana operations within their jurisdictions. The new legislation is expected to be passed later this month in the assembly.