“Colombian Cannabis has declared war on the trade of Canada and the United States” is the meaning of the new law on cannabis exports that Colombian President Iván Duque has promoted, arguing that the country is starting to play a leading role on the world market as a protagonist.
Thanks to this new, more permissive law, Colombia will become one of the first countries in the world to allow the export of cannabis in its most essential form: the flower.
The value of this law can only be measured in billions of dollars and will open fierce competition especially with Canada.
Canada, the world’s leading exporter, is the only country in the world where cannabis, which can be used for its psychotropic effects, is completely legal. The United States, Portugal and Australia still have partial legislation.
Furthermore, Colombia, in addition to having favorable climatic conditions almost 365 days a year, can produce medicinal cannabis at a cost enormously lower than what it costs to Canadian growers.
The new law puts an end to a strict 2016 regulation that contemplated medicinal and scientific uses through licenses issued by the Ministries of Health and Justice. But bans on dried leaves remained for fear of illegal trafficking.
Duque signed the decree on safe and informed access to the medical and scientific use of cannabis on 23 July. Therefore, it gave the green light to the production of cannabis-based fabrics, foods or beverages.
But the biggest novelty of the law is that it allows the industry to export the dried flower of the plant, the form of cannabis that can be best used and has a market that exceeds 50% of medicinal cannabis sales in the world. The regulation also allows the flower to be processed and processed in free zones.
Colombia thus begins with the advantage of its climatic conditions, which include privileged solar radiation, with 12 hours of natural light and less fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Operating costs are also quite low than elsewhere, especially on labor. Growing one gram can cost up to six cents, while in Canada or the United States up to $ 1.89. Furthermore, Colombia is the second largest flower exporter in the world, behind the Netherlands, and can use this experience for the new industry.
The cannabis promise has attracted more than $ 500 million in foreign direct investment to Colombia, and the country has the potential to become a world leader in a high value-added industry, both in flower derivatives and in the flower itself.
The macroeconomic potential is enormous. Last year, Colombian exports of medical cannabis were more than $ 5 million, but by 2030 they could exceed $ 1.7 billion, according to projections from ProColombia, the government’s business promotion agency. A more optimistic price scenario points to more than 2,500 million dollars, which would even exceed those of coffee, the country’s first product in non-mining energy exports. This would translate into 44,000 jobs by then.
Entrepreneurs in the sector confirm that “This is a golden opportunity for companies operating in Colombia. The country has the ability to produce a high quality flower at very competitive costs and has the potential to disrupt the global market.”