The Colombian government only allows the exportation of cannabis products for “scientific purposes” as cannabis advocates strive for change in the government’s policies.
Colombia is a country that beholds an enriched environment that allows a growing season for biodiverse gardens year round. The country is a perfect place to grow high-quality and consistent cannabis products. The most prominent roadblock that prevents these products’ exportation is the Colombian government. Will Colombia’s government allow the export of cannabis flower?
Currently the exportation of cannabis from Colombia is only legal for “scientific purposes.” According to Marijuana Business Daily, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) wrote a letter suggesting that the Colombian government amends these regulations to allow exportation of cannabis flower for other purposes.
Seven percent of Colombia’s economic income stems from Agriculture which can grow abundantly if government regulations are amended. $5 million (USD) of revenue comes from the country’s exportation of CBD products to the US, UK, and Australia- according to a study conducted by Colombia’s largest industry association, Asocolcanna.
General counsel member of Columbian medical cannabis producer NatuEra, Camilo De Guzman told MJBizDaily; “Allowing cannabis flower exports makes strategic sense.”
The president of Asocolcanna, Rodrigo Arcila, also shared their two cents that reaffirms what Guzman said; “It’s critical that Colombia’s regulatory framework remains competitive and allows companies to access new markets, increase revenue and attract further investment.”
Colombia’s Industry Strives For Change
Colombia has been working within the cannabis industry for over a century now, ranging from boundless use to prohibition. Cannabis was decriminalized in 2012, legalized in 2016 and in 2019, the government ruled that public consumption is no longer banned.
According to Prohibition Partners, 60% of Colombian Cannabis Cultivation Licenses are used for growing hemp (low THC), 25% cannabis (high THC), and 15% for seed production. A local seed cultivation company, Avicanna, exported over 100,000 cannabis seeds to Colorado in the year of 2020.
With land that can be purchased at low costs, the perfect climate and low agriculture supplies and labor costs; open field growers as well as greenhouses can produce up to four crops per year! No need for large greenhouse productions with excess manufacturing equipment like costly indoor growing lights in a beautiful place like Colombia. The general consensus of those in the industry seem to gather that it makes little to no sense to restrict exportation in a country where the people would benefit greatly.
The majority of cannabis industry companies in Colombia are owned by foreign countries’ associations. According to Prohibition Partners, 70% of the cannabis companies in Colombia are owned by international businesses, leaving 30% of local companies to benefit from the industry’s growth. That being said, the labor is sourced locally, impelling the growth of the country’s workforce.
With cheap land and affordable labor in a place with vast opportunity regarding its environment, Colombia is a desired location for cannabis industry companies. Some of these international companies even go as far as reinvesting into the people of the country.
There are companies like One World Products. This certified fair trade company invests back in the Colombian community by providing the seeds to grow hemp to the Misak community; an indigenous tribe that has long suffered from effects of black market drug trades.
One World Products then buys the hemp from the Misaks upon harvest. This system allows the Misak community to build a sustainable financial infrastructure. What’s more, OWP has issued shares of the company to the tribespeople. When OWP wins, so do Colombia’s indigeonous communities.
Will Change Come?
Will change come? It’s hard to say, with cannabis activists and industry workers working tirelessly in efforts to impell the future of exportation of cannabis products without the regulation restricting the product to be for “medical purposes” to allow it to be legal, there seems to be a gleam of hope.
According to De Guzman, “Colombia’s ability to grow and harvest high-quality cannabis flower year-round, at a low cost and in many microclimates, positions it uniquely to service this market with a varied offering of fresh product at stable quantities and prices.” Encouraging many readers and believers that it would seemingly be feasible and a very beneficial option for the country’s economy.
Yet, there is another hindrance aside from the government’s regulations in this cause. According to MJBizDaily the country has received hundreds of millions of US dollars in foreign investments for cannabis product exportation. The country only has amounted to $5 million (USD) in exportation, an unimpressive feat that discourages the idea that these producers will be able to produce products up to par with demand. On the other hand, Uruguay has exported over $10 million in product, an impressive competitor indeed.
So will change come? Will the Colombian government allow the exportation of cannabis flower? We certainly hope so because not only will it benefit the small, competitive global market but it will allow the capability of the Colombian workforce and economy to grow to a fuller potential.