First commercial export of nonpsychoactive cannabis from Colombia reaches UK

Bogota-based Clever Leaves announced that the first Colombian shipment of nonpsychoactive cannabis products for commercial sale reached London’s Heathrow Airport on July 27, and the health-related goods cleared customs Wednesday.

The products, which were exported as a food supplement, will soon be available for sale in the United Kingdom and other European Union countries, according to a news release.

Such commercial “wellness” products are manufactured using low-THC cannabis as raw material, have a considerable CBD content and are sold over the counter.

Pharmacielo, a Canadian-based cannabis company whose main operations are in Colombia, announced July 25 it “completed the necessary permitting process required to enable Colombia’s first commercial export and sale of nonpsychoactive (CBD) isolate.”

The company did not specify when the first products would be shipped.

However, Pharmacielo on Thursday announced an increase in its production capacity.

Companies that want to manufacture CBD isolate or other CBD products in Colombia using their own crops as raw material must be licensed and use registered genetics.

As of July 29, according to the official government database, only five companies have fully registered cultivars. Four of them have registered psychoactive and nonpsychoactive genetics; one has registered only psychoactive genetics.

Unlike psychoactive cannabis, nonpsychoactive products do not require quotas.

However, the Colombian government recently published a draft decree that, if approved as proposed, would increase the controls and paperwork required to manufacture nonpsychoactive cannabis products.

European CBD sales appear to be booming, but not without difficulties: Sales of CBD products as food lack legal protection in most jurisdictions, for example.

The U.K. is a special case, with authorities turning a blind eye to CBD product sales as long as no THC is present. However, domestic hemp farmers are not allowed to harvest the flower, which in practice favors imports.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at [email protected]

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