How is the Cannabis Market in Colombia Evolving?

Colombia is fast becoming a leading supplier of the world’s demand for medicinal cannabis. Though legislation tipped in favor of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes only recently, its ambitious government aims to develop Colombia’s cannabis market into a globally-revered competitor.

Colombia intends to provide 40.5 tons of medicinal cannabis each year from 2019. Despite this significant contribution to global supply, the industry is still in its infancy.

Find out why now is the perfect time to invest in the evolving cannabis industry in Colombia.

Background on legalization of cannabis in Colombia

Colombia formalized its medicinal cannabis industry in 2017. This was a major development in a growing worldwide momentum in favor of decriminalization. This move also regulated a historically troublesome illegal drug trade for Colombia.

As part of the legalization process, the government established five resolutions outlining the regulations for individuals and companies to produce cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. Since then, additional amendments have been put in place to establish safety and quality standards for manufacture.

To support this legal framework, the government established four types of licenses allowing for the legal manufacture of cannabis. These licenses can be obtained by both individuals and businesses, and include the capacity to export.

Colombia’s progressive attitude towards the decriminalization of cannabis has ignited the global demand for medicinal cannabis. Other countries that have made legal concessions for medicinal cannabis production and consumption are already experiencing extreme shortages in supply. A number of natural and economic factors put Colombia in an excellent position to address these shortages.

Colombia’s place in the global medicinal cannabis market

Colombia supplying up to 44% of the world's medicinal cannabis.
Market observers estimate Colombia could deliver as much as 44% of the world’s supply for medicinal cannabis.

Cannabis is capturing the attention of a number of industries internationally. In particular, its cannabinoid components, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are increasingly valued for their various uses in derivative products. 

Colombia is not the first or only country to legalize cannabis for medicinal use. However, its low production costs, ideal climate, progressive legal framework, and geographic location give Colombia a leading edge in the global market.

Medicinal cannabis is projected to grow into a USD$43 billion-dollar market by 2025. Already, market observers estimate Colombia could be responsible for as much as 44% of the world’s supply for medicinal cannabis.

The government is aware that Colombia boasts ideal conditions to facilitate a booming medicinal cannabis industry. The country’s competitive advantage and opportunity for global commercial prestige is therefore driving high government responsiveness to foreign investment.

Businesses are moving quickly to share in Colombia’s cannabis spoils

Colombia’s promising future for cannabis production has local and foreign investors pouncing on business opportunities in the industry. Other Latin American countries are also looking to follow suit, such as Mexico and Peru.

Colombia's government supports investment in medicinal cannabis industry.
Colombia’s government is taking ongoing measures to facilitate commercial success in producing and exporting cannabis.

At the end of 2018, 214 companies registered to obtain one or more of Colombia’s licenses for cannabis production. This includes a hoard of pharmaceutical companies, who identify Colombia as the solution for paralyzing shortages in Northern American markets.

With Colombia responsible for 44% of the global supply of medicinal cannabis, there’s clearly room for more in the sector. A small number of companies are lining up to enjoy lucrative shares in the still-growing market.

It’s an easy decision for foreign businesses wanting to stay ahead of the curve. Business confidence in Colombia’s blossoming cannabis sector is high. The government is taking ongoing measures to facilitate commercial success in producing and exporting cannabis.

Colombia’s favorable operating conditions and straightforward application process for its licenses make setting up easy, with the right legal assistance.

What next for Colombia’s cannabis industry?

It’s all good news for Colombia’s future in medicinal cannabis exportation. The government’s decision not to legalize public consumption and commercial sale of marijuana isn’t hindering Colombia’s economic success in this industry.

The government continues to develop its regulations around exporting medicinal cannabis, with early adopters as willing guinea pigs. Ongoing attention to cannabis legislation will see Colombia enforce robust legal frameworks for a flourishing industry with ample investment opportunities.

Colombia is happily taking advantage of other countries still deliberating legalization of the plant. While world attitudes towards cannabis are still shifting, Colombia is already connecting with markets open to its use. As governments and lobby groups drum up support for decriminalization, businesses prepare for further increases in global demand.

Furthermore, the properties of cannabis continue to be investigated for other medical benefits. Currently, cannabis products are being tested for their effectiveness in relieving symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Investors and scientists alike anticipate cannabis’ success in the medical sector far beyond the short term. Creating a commercial footprint in this industry is therefore forecasted to yield far-reaching, long term economic success.

Cannabis industry bolsters Colombia’s changing image

For decades, Colombia has battled an illegal drug trade. In legalizing the cannabis industry, Colombia is changing global perspectives on its investment viability and prominence as a regional economic power.

The Colombian government identifies foreign investment as a major contributor to its strong economic development. Over the last decade, Colombia’s progressive legislative changes and government initiatives have fueled a steadily-strengthening economy. In a short space of time, Colombia has grown to be the third-largest economy in Latin America.

Work with the experts to get started

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’re looking to enter the cannabis market in Colombia, reach out to the local experts at Biz Latin Hub. Our team expects a bright future ahead for Colombia’s medicinal cannabis industry. The sector is open for those international investors on the lookout for new opportunities, and now is the right time to get started.

Reach our team of experts today for personalized support on your journey.

Learn more about our team and expert authors.

Come and see us at ExpoCannaBiz 2019

Connect with us at ExpoCannaBiz 2019: Biz Latin Hub’s top cannabis industry experts will be attending the ExpoCannaBiz 2019 Business Conference from 9-11 May in Cartagena, Colombia.

Managing director and co-founder of Biz Latin Hub, Craig Dempsey, and Mining and Corporate Legal Counsel, Juan Sebastian Cardona, will speak to attendees about their extensive experience in the evolving cannabis trade environment. Secure your place at the conference and connect with us.

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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