By The New York Times

Argentina on Thursday authorized people to grow marijuana at home for medicinal use, delighting supporters of cannabis who have fought for years to make it widely available to patients suffering from a broad range of ailments.

A decree issued by President Alberto Fernández also allows pharmacies to sell cannabis-derived oils, creams and other products, and it orders public and private insurance systems to cover these medications for patients who obtain a prescription.

The president’s move significantly expanded the reach of a 2017 law that legalized medical marijuana. Supporters of medicinal cannabis say Mr. Fernández’s predecessor, Mauricio Macri, established restrictions so strict that it effectively made the drug inaccessible to patients.

The measure is the latest step softening drug laws in Latin America. In 2017, Uruguay legalized recreational marijuana, which is sold in pharmacies, and Colombia established a licensing system to grow cannabis for medicinal use. Home growers in Argentina will need a license based on medical needs.