Colombia and the Blossoming Medical Cannabis Sector

When you think about Colombia, specifically regarding the economy and strong national sectors, chances are mining, flowers, coffee, and tourism come to mind. While all of these are valid, there is a new national sector that has grown in popularity in a relatively short time period: Medicinal Cannabis.

As the Northern America markets open up to Cannabis, opportunities in Colombia are becoming increasingly more accessible and profitable. The Colombia government has created a legal framework, allowing individuals and companies to sell and distribute cannabis seeds, cultivate cannabis plants (psychoactive or non-psychoactive), manufacture cannabis derivatives and export cannabis-based products to foreign markets. As the Colombian government supports its claim for an open-market economy, there are no restrictions of foreigners entering this sector, as long as the meet the legislative requirements. 

As the demand for cannabis products and derivatives grows, Colombia’s place in the global market becomes obvious. The sector is still new and the opportunities are endless, with many locals and foreigners jumping at the chance to play a role in the growth and development of the sector. 

Colombian Medicinal Cannabis Legislation 

In 2017, Colombia decided to venture into the field of permitting the cultivation of medical cannabis. It all started when the Government passed a law on which provided a legal framework for the sector, with the creation of (4) licenses to operate, as can be seen below: 

  • License for the use of Cannabis Seeds (Licencia de Uso de Semilla)
  • License for the Cultivation of Psychoactive Cannabis (Licencia de Cultivo de Plantas de Cannabis Psicoactivo)
  • License for Non-Psychoactive Cannabis Cultivation (Licencia de Cultivos de Planta de Cannabis No Psicoactivo)
  • License for the Manufacture of Cannabis Derivatives (Licencia de Fbricación de Derivados de Cannabis)

This put Colombia on the global panorama of medical cannabis, calling investors and cannabis professionals from all over the world to join the sector – cultivate, manufacture and export the product globally. As expected, there has been great interest and participation from the Northern American nations, who have liberal regulation regarding cannabis in their respective countries. Additionally, the US and Canada are considered some of the pioneers of Cannabis, and as such, their skills, experience, and knowledge are invaluable in the sector. 

The idea of Colombia becoming a leading cannabis producer has been so successful that in 2018, 214 licenses had already been approved by the government. Although, it should be noted that at the moment, medicinal cannabis has not begun to be exported to other countries.

A study by ProColombia revealed that there are several factors that will play in favor of Colombia, providing it with the opportunity to become a key global player in the international cannabis market. 

Why is Colombia an Ideal Destination to Cultivate Cannabis? 

colombia cannabis sector
Colombian has a wealth of knowledge and skills in the cultivation of flowers, with many of these being transferable to cannabis cultivation.

The fact is that Colombia, despite not being traditionally seen as a country with Cannabis expertise, is an agricultural powerhouse. Colombia, for many years, has been a world-leading producer and exporter of flowers, with key clients coming from its northern neighbors, the US and Canada. Colombian has a wealth of knowledge and skills in the cultivation of flowers, with many of these skills being transferable to cannabis cultivation. Additionally, Colombia boasts a climate ideal for agriculture production – consistently long and sunny days, with fertile soil. Unlike Northern America and Northern European Countries, who have diverse seasons, Colombia’s stable climate, with ideal agricultural production conditions mean the nation has developed their skills in this sector over many years. 

Another competitive advantage that Colombia has, in addition to its climate and soil, is its exportation potential. The Government is pushing to turn Colombia into a regional trading hub – an achievable objective given Colombians geographic location and the fact that the nation has direct access to (2) oceans. Colombia, as a way to remain competitive, has pursued an open-economy for some years now. The government remains committed to ensuring that Colombia is involved in global commerce and trade; a key factor that has contributed to the recent economic success of the nation. 

Colombia has regional trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties with various nations, including, but not limited too:

  • United States Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement 
  • Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement 
  • Andean Free Trade Agreement (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras)
  • Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with countries such as Switerzland, Spain, and Peru

The government’s commitment to trade and commerce gives rise to exciting commercial opportunities for individuals and companies looking to cultivate cannabis and ship the in-demand product to regions around the globe. Export companies view the region as an ideal location to launch a trading hub, and this is true for the medicinal cannabis sector.

Get Started Today 

Colombia has a lot to offer the medicinal cannabis industry at a global level – which is estimated to reach a market exceeding USD$43 billion by 2025. The nation’s commitment to the growth and development of this sector can be seen through the established legal framework. With the stable legal framework created and specific information available regarding the sector, Colombia is expected to become a key exporter of cannabis extracts and derivatives in the coming years. 

If you are interested in entering the Medicinal Cannabis sector in Colombia and are not sure of the first steps, then reach out to the local experts at Biz Latin Hub. Our team and the country as a whole expect a bright future ahead for medicinal cannabis sector. The sector is open for those international investors on the lookout for new opportunities.

Given the favorable conditions in the country and the region as well as the economic growth, Biz Latin Hub through its company Colombian Business Services offers the experience and support necessary for investors to have a successful market entry in Colombia. Feel free to contact us now.

Learn more about our team and expert authors.

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.

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