Colombia has been known for its legendary black market; Therefore Colombia is now building a repertoire as a respected Cannabis Brand, participating in the growing number of countries and states with a legal medicinal cannabis program, allied by a supportive government.
Colombia with in the last few years, developed and achieved the most comprehensive and sophisticated medical cannabis framework in Latin America. Colombia has yet to be as advanced as Canada.
Although, years behind the notoriously low production cost and ideal climate for year round cannabis growing and production are creating a very lucrative competitive advantage for investors and international cannabis companies. In addition, Colombian companies have been and are seeking to be listed in major exchanges increasing the respectable reputation.
Khiron Life Sciences, a Colombian Cannabis producer began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange on Thursday under the symbol KHRN. Colombia has two primary categories of licences available, both In the Medical and Scientific umbrella with different opportunities for each. there isn’t a cap on the number of licenses the government can issue.
The Business opportunities with-in Colombia, businesses can apply for the following licences
Manufacture of cannabis derivatives: this license cover the manufacturing, acquisition, import, export, storage transportation, marketing and distribution of cannabis derivatives.
The Ministry of health and social protection grants this license, which covers:
- National use: For distribution only within Colombia, where one company estimates there are at least 5 million patients.
- Scientific research
- Export, though export flower is not allowed.
cultivation of cannabis plants: The Ministry of Justice and law grants this license for cannabis plants for all purposes.
- psychoactive cannabis plants (THC of 1% or higher)
- non psychoactive cannabis plants (THC less than 1%)
- Seeds for commercial use or scientific research.
As of April 9, 35 manufacture licenses have been granted, 33 included export. as of may 2, 80 cultivation licenses were granted: 43 for non psychoactive cannabis, 31 for psychoactive cannabis and 6 for seeds.
the Colombian National framework concept to be prescribed by doctors and to be sold to patients in the pharmacies thus allowing patients to try medicinal cannabis that have yet to go through clinical trials.
The foundation of the legal framework are LAW 1787 of 2016 and Decree 613 of 2017. Resolutions 577,578, and 579 of the Ministry of Justice and Resolutions 2891 and 2892 of the ministry of Health regulate procedures.
The requirements to obtain a license vary, most require identification of where the said activities will take place and who will serve as representative for the company. technical documents for cultivation, manufacture, security, research and export plans can also be required. the application process, so far has been timely within 30 to 60 days. Applicants can expect at least 1 inspection during cultivation application process to assure that quality control is up date as well as no illegal crops are at the said location.
Manufacturers of cannabis derivatives may source flower from their own crops – if they have the correct cultivation licenses – or buy them form legal cultivators. At least 10% of raw material must be sourced from small – or medium – sized growers. Cultivators with up to 1.2 acres of area dedicated to growing cannabis.
Two of the nation’s 32 departments – geopolitical divisions akin to states or provinces in other countries – are home to about 40% of the cultivation license: Antioquia, a department recognized for its high-quality coffee crops and Cundinamarca, the region surrounding Bogota, the capital of Colombia and known for its flower industry.
Three companies have licenses to grow in Cauca, the traditional center of the illegal crops in Colombia, one of those license is for an association of 63 families, Andres Lopez head of Colombia national Narcotic fund explained to MJBD
Officials actually hope more of the existing illegal cultivators will apply to becomes small or medium sized growers in the new legal Cannabis industry.
“Regulations is for those that are not in the recreational use and need medicinal cannabis products for medical use under prescription and medical treatment.” stated Lopez. The purpose of Regulations is not to eliminate illegal crops, as long as there is recreational use exists, illegal crops will keep sourcing it Lopez also added.
International trade around cannabis plant materials is very complex or for lack of better term “remains complex” the Colombian government has granted amnesty for genetics until the end of 2018.
This means that all pre-existing genetics in the Colombian territory can be registered for cultivation through the end of the year regardless of origin, after the deadline, licensee will need to buy their seeds or clones from another licensee or import them.
for psychoactive cannabis extracts, producers also need to apply for a production quota to ensure the number of buyers justifies the production. there is no max quota per company.
The International; Narcotics Control Board oversees national production quotas for medical cannabis. In 2018 Colombia received a production quota of 40.5 metric tons of dried flower for conversion into derivatives, 44% of total authorized world use.
so far 10 companies have received a quota for 2018 and are the first allowed to cultivate psychoactive cannabis. The Most important export destinations of psychoactive cannabis, such as Germany, Australia , have not announced if they will open their markets to Colombian products several Canadian companies view Colombia as a possible source of cannabis, although how health Canada will regulate the imports is uncertain.
Colombian Association of Cannabis Industry and the Colombian government, through ProColombia and other agencies, support the industry to find export opportunities.