MJBizCon’s inaugural Latin American Cannabis Symposium kicks off in Bogotá on Monday at a time when expectations are high that this region will emerge as a low-cost marijuana cultivation juggernaut.
More than 500 marijuana industry entrepreneurs, investors and executives from 20 countries are attending the two-day conference at the Grand Hyatt Bogotá. In addition from Latin American countries, attendees hail from the United States, Canada, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
Cannabis companies and entrepreneurs are showing growing interest in Latin America, home to more than 600 million people, most of whom live in a country with some form of legal medical cannabis.
“Latin America as a whole has made huge strides in legalizing medical cannabis at the federal level, which is creating immense interest from entrepreneurs and investors in the region and from North America. Some of these countries are attempting to position themselves as export hubs, in particular Colombia,” said Chris Walsh, founding editor and president of Marijuana Business Daily.
“While it will take years for these markets to fully develop and reach their potential, there’s a lot of promise. Getting the first wave of business people and investors together to talk about the opportunities and challenges in these markets is a critical part of further the industry there.”
Conference attendees will hear about a wide variety of topics during the first day, including:
- A global overview of the marijuana industry from MJBizDaily’s Walsh.
- A finance track with sessions such as “Hot Market: Investing Opportunities in Latin America” and “Attracting International Investors.”
- A special session with the director of Medicines and Biological Products of INVIMA – Colombia’s National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute – during which one of the topics will be how to open export markets for Colombian products.
The keynote speaker will be Juliana Restrepo, vice president of exports of ProColombia, the government agency in charge of promoting exports and foreign investment.
The second day of the event will include:
- Country-specific sessions looking at Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the Caribbean.
- A session about the impact in Latin America from the legalization of hemp in the United States.
- A science track, in partnership with Emerald Scientific, a supplier of cannabis equipment, data and scientific information.
- A track focused on production and distribution strategies, including sessions about cultivation, business opportunities in cosmetics, international trade, and GMP standards.