Colombia has approved the production of cannabis-based fabrics, foods, and drinks, as well as the export of the plant for medical purposes.
Colombia, the world’s leading producer of cocaine and home to enormous marijuana plants, approved medical cannabis cultivation in 2016.
It was previously only possible to export the plant’s extracts, but not its blooms.
As a result, the president stated, the country “enters to play big in the international market” of cannabis.
The veto of the flowers, according to Eduardo Barrera, a spokesman of the Caamonte farming company, was due to the authorities’ “concern” of a possible diversion to illegal traffic.
The union said that this rule hindered them from “accessing the largest and most profitable market segment of the medical cannabis industry” in a letter to President Duque dated July 14.
According to Duque, flowers, which concentrate the plant’s medical and hallucinogenic components, “may comprise 53 percent of this industry globally.”
The new standard also permits the plant to be used to make “non-psychoactive derivatives.”
“We aren’t just in the pharmaceutical business anymore. The president stated, “We are opening the room to do much more in cosmetics (…) food and beverages” or textiles.
Caamonte’s director of horticulture, Fabián Currea, told AFP that easing the export ban on flowers “allows us to explore new markets,” taking advantage of the plant’s low production costs in Colombia.
According to Currea, the rule also “assists in controlling the informal market for counterfeit products” based on marijuana, which has seen a recent “boom” in Colombia.
According to the government, the medical cannabis sector might be worth $ 64 billion by 2024.
Uruguay, Ecuador, and Peru are among the countries in the region that have allowed marijuana production for medicinal purposes.