Global Cannabis: Colombia

Colombia

North American cannabis companies have flagged Colombia as a key market for investments. Photo by Natanael Ginting

Milestones in the Medical Cannabis Program

The government finalized its medical marijuana law in 2016, but as of today, no MMJ products are available in the domestic market. High-THC cannabis has been exported only for analytical purposes as of mid-2019.

 

Key Laws and Regulations

  • Law 1787: July 6, 2016
  • Decree 613: April 10, 2017
  • Decree 631: April 9, 2018
  • Resolution 0577: Aug. 8, 2017
  • Resolution 0578: Aug. 8, 2017
  • Resolution 0579: Aug. 8, 2017

 

Market Data

  • There were zero medical marijuana patients as of mid-2019 because MMJ products are not yet available.
  • Roughly 100 companies have obtained a manufacturing license—and more have obtained a cultivation license—but this is just the first in a series of regulatory steps that companies must complete to market cannabis products.

 

Medical Cannabis Products Available in the Market

  • A few companies are offering CBD-infused cosmetics. However, these companies are importing the CBD until they can use their own cannabis.

 

North American Companies in the Market

A number of Canadian and U.S. companies are active in Colombia. For example:

  • New York-based investment firm Northern Swan, via its investment in Colombian cannabis company Clever Leaves.
  • Subsidiaries or joint ventures of major Canadian licensed producers, including Ontario-based Canopy Growth, Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis, Ontario-based Aphria and Ontario-based Cronos.
  • Companies publicly listed in North America with main operations in Colombia include Pharmacielo, Khiron Life Sciences, Blueberries Medical and Avicanna.

 

Big Picture

  • Colombia is the Latin American country that has attracted the most interest and foreign investment commitments so far, reflecting the nation’s ideal growing conditions and a legal framework that allows MMJ exports.
  • After obtaining business licenses, MMJ companies must register cannabis cultivars they wish to grow. Another option would be to purchase registered genetics from other producers or to import cultivars, something no company has done so far.
  • Only seven companies had at least one fully registered cultivar as of Aug. 6, 2019.
  • A draft decree is in the works that could substantially modify certain aspects of Colombia’s regulatory framework. Exports of flower for further processing into Colombian free-trade zones would be allowed—a move that would generate new business opportunities—and several stricter controls would be imposed.

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