Colombia Could Become the World’s Number One Cannabis Cultivator
Canada and the U.S. may have access to state-of-the-art growing technology, but that does not set them up to be world leaders in cannabis cultivation. This is a position that could eventually fall to Colombia, according to The Motley Fool.
Colombia, with its favourable climate and long-established marijuana cultivation workforce, will have a much easier time growing cannabis than its northern counterparts.
The country’s rich history of marijuana cultivation dates back centuries. Unfortunately, the legal status of cannabis around the world turned Colombia into a hotspot for illegal cannabis production.
However, the legalization of medical cannabis in 2015 helped bring some legitimacy to the industry. In May, Colombia Reports revealed that lawmakers were drafting legislation to legalize the drug.
Whether cannabis is legalized entirely or remains limited for medical use, Colombia offers some major advantages as a marijuana source that could eclipse Canada and the U.S.
While the plant itself may bring plenty of great things to the table, environmental sustainability is not one of them. Indoor cannabis growth is exponentially worse for the environment than outdoor cultivation. Unfortunately, Canada does not have much choice in the matter.
According to The Motley Fool:
“A key problem with cannabis cultivation in Canada is the need for it to be conducted indoors in climate-controlled greenhouses, which is extremely energy intensive and costly. It has been estimated that, on average, to cultivate one kilogram of marijuana indoors produces 4,600 kg of carbon emissions, which is estimated to be proportionally more than other forms of agriculture and far greater than manufacturing or mining activities.”
Furthermore, indoor growth facilities consume 10 times more electricity than a regular-sized office building. Aside from environmental consequences, this also creates much more overhead, which then gets passed on to the consumer.
Better Conditions and Established Labour Force
Colombia is the complete opposite of Canada in every respect. Its ability to grow cannabis virtually anywhere outdoors essentially makes the aforementioned concerns a non-issue:
“Cannabis thrives in Colombia’s equatorial climate, where long, even periods of sunlight, temperate conditions, and consistent rainfall makes low-cost outdoor cultivation almost effortless.”
Colombia is also not short on skilled labour. For a long time, the country has been a major target in the War on Drugs due to its major role in not just illegal cannabis, but other illicit substances as well. The Motley Fool further explains:
“When that is coupled with Colombia’s low labour costs, clear regulatory environment, and long history of cut flower cultivation, it underscores the significant competitive advantage the equatorial nation possesses.”
Now comes the benefit that every consumer cares about. It is no secret that the cost of legal cannabis in Canada is unable to compete with the black market. While this does not deter everyone from staying in the legal realm, it certainly does not help gain customers.
Colombia solves this problem by leaps and bounds. Unlike Canada, Colombia can produce marijuana for pennies per gram:
“One estimate is that a gram of dried flower in Colombia costs US$0.50 to produce, whereas for the last reported quarter it cost Canopy Growth around US$4.81 per gram. Aphria, another leading cultivator, reported that one gram of marijuana had a cash cost of US$1.11 and all-in sustaining costs were US$2.82.”
Oil production is also dirt cheap, with some estimates claiming that it costs $0.35 USD to extract a gram of CBD, as opposed to the $3 USD it costs Canadian producers.
Other contributing factors include low start-up costs, simpler licensing procedures, cheap labour and looser regulations.
This has prompted major licensed producers like Aphria and Canopy Growth to set up operations in areas known for illegal cannabis production. Hopefully, this will help elbow out black market growers.
WeedAdvisor’s Interest in the Colombian Market
With Colombia poised to take a major role in the world cannabis industry, we are always interested in forming partnerships with emerging businesses, licensed producers and government.
As these entities continue to build their framework around cannabis cultivation, sale and export, WeedAdvisor will be present to help, offering a variety of solutions to help ensure quality, safety, compliance and more.