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Colombia Can Become the Global Cannabis Leader

13 August 2021
With lower production costs and other advantages, Colombia is poised to become the world’s largest cannabis producer
13 August 2021
2 min read
Colombia Can Become the Global Cannabis Leader

With a new legislation to regulate cannabis exports now in place, Colombia’s licensed producers of the plant expect a revenue bonanza. The law gives them an opportunity to sell dried flowers to international customers, and this is by far the highest-grossing category among cannabis products. Besides a liberal regulatory framework, the country boasts a climate that is almost perfect for the cultivation of the plant, not to mention a large number of skilled cultivators.

Flora Growth is one of those cannabis companies that expects to benefit the most from the new rules and that makes current global cannabis leaders like Canada look anxiously over their shoulder.

The First Crop to be Exported to Australia

The three pilot harvests at Flora’s 4.94-acre farm have demonstrated that medical marijuana can be grown here at a fraction of the cost achieved elsewhere. While in North America a gram of dried flowers can cost as much as $1.89, Flora’s overheads are 25 times lower, and a gram costs just $0.06. With free sunlight and cheap water, Colombia’s licenced producers have a huge competitive edge.

So far, Flora has only grown high-CBD strains of cannabis and made oils and extracts because exporting dried buds was prohibited. The next crop will also be of CBD varieties. However, the company has already signed a letter of intent with an international distributor to export this cannabis in dry smokable form. Buds from this harvest will also be supplied to the Australian medical marijuana market via Evergreen Pharmacare.

Flora is also ready to extend its operation with high-THC varieties. The preparatory work has already been done, and the new psychoactive strains will be propagated for next plantings. This will be a huge opportunity for the Colombian producer and open the doors of such mature cannabis markets as the United States, the UK, and Germany.

An Important Tool for Post-Covid Recovery

Upon signing the new export regulations, Colombia’s president Ivan Duque noted that cannabis will play an important part in the country’s post-pandemic economic growth. In addition to the pharmaceutical industry, domestic producers will now have access to such markets as food and beverages, textiles, and cosmetics.

Wilson Ruiz, Colombia’s Minister of Justice quoted a 2019 study that found that the cannabis sector generated as many as 17.3 jobs per hectare. And President Duque said that, according to experts, legal cannabis will be worth $64 billion globally by 2024 and that Colombia is “at the forefront in terms of regulatory competitiveness”.

With a major legal hurdle removed, the burgeoning legal cannabis industry in the country is ready to enter a huge international market that was unavailable before.