Colombian Medical Cannabis Industry Could Be Worth $6 Billion Per Year, but Regulatory Roadblocks Make This Difficult
As Colombia mulls over full legalization, its medical cannabis industry continues to barrel forward. According to ABS-CBN News, Colombian officials estimate that the country’s medical marijuana sales could be worth $6 billion – emphasis on “could.”
Because while the potential is there, the country’s regulatory framework – although justifiable like any regulated market – represents a huge bottleneck that may stifle the industry’s potential.
This problem caught the attention of investors, who may lose interest if the country’s cannabis industry cannot live up to its maximum revenue potential.
A Major Cash Crop
Countries like Canada and the U.S. see economic opportunities in legal marijuana, but the Colombian industry has the potential to be a leading commodity:
“Colombia could export $6 billion a year in medicinal cannabis products, making marijuana its third-largest source of foreign exchange, the government said on Thursday, as investors called for simpler regulations for marijuana producers.”
If Colombia is successful in legalizing recreational cannabis, this would only add its potential revenue. It is not unrealistic to theorize that the drug will have a substantial positive impact on the country’s economy.
One common ailment legal marijuana industries seem to share is the endless bureaucracy and proverbial hoops that retailers and licensed producers have to jump through every day.
We saw in Canada how regulations can seriously slow down production and distribution. Colombia is no exception and faces an equal – if not worse – regulatory obstacle.
“Colombian law already regulates the possession, production, distribution, sale and export of seeds and other marijuana products like oils and creams, but investors say the export approval process is tortuous.”
This is clearly obvious by how long it took to begin issuing export licenses. Despite medical marijuana being legalized in 2016, only in the last month did the first exports of CBD isolate reach foreign shores.
Compliance Standards an Issue
Remaining compliant is important, but Colombia’s apparent overregulation threatens to leave them lagging behind other countries in the budding global cannabis industry.
Gustavo Escobar of Clever Leaves (a joint venture between Canada and Colombia) says:
“More forceful action in regulatory terms is needed so we don’t lose the momentum that we have been growing with. We’re lacking some adjustments that would allow us to attend to markets as quickly as possible, before other countries get ahead of us.”
With Canada and the U.S. wrestling for first place and Mexico well underway to developing its own industry, Colombia cannot afford to lose any ground.
WeedAdvisor’s Colombian Presence
WeedAdvisor is proud to work with our Colombian clients, especially considering that marijuana reform has broadened – and will likely continue to do so.
Cannabis offers opportunities to every country, but Colombia arguably stands to gain the most from becoming a key player.
As a new industry emerges and develops, we look forward to working with future and existing businesses, as well as government, to provide an extensive list of solutions meant to aid functions like complains, inventory tracking, safety, documentation, reporting and more.