First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Colombia gave the green light to the manufacture of cannabis-based textiles, food or beverages and to the export of the plant for medicinal purposes.
President Iván Duque signed this Friday the decree that “eliminates the ban on the export of dried flower” in an event organized at Clever Leaves, one of the 18 multinationals that grows medicinal cannabis in Colombia .
Colombia, the main producer of cocaine in the world and where there are large marijuana plantations, legalized the production of medical cannabis in 2016.
Until now it was only allowed to export extracts of the plant, but not its flowers.
Thus, the country “enters to play big in the international market” of cannabis, said the president. According to Eduardo Barrera, representative of the Cañamonte cultivating company, the veto of the flowers was due to the “fear” of the authorities in the face of a possible diversion to illegal traffic.
In a letter sent to President Duque on July 14, the union argued that this rule prevented them from “accessing the largest and most profitable market segment of the medical cannabis industry . ”
Flowers, which concentrate the plant’s medicinal and psychoactive compounds, “may represent 53% of this market worldwide,” according to Duque.
The new standard also allows the manufacture of “non-psychoactive derivatives” from the plant.
“We are no longer only in pharmaceutical use. We are opening the space to do much more in cosmetics (…) food and beverages ” or textiles, the president emphasized.
Fabián Currea, Cañamonte’s director of cultivation, told AFP that lifting the ban on exporting flowers “gives the possibility of exploring new markets” taking advantage of the plant’s low production costs in Colombia.
The rule also “helps control the informal market for fraudulent products” based on marijuana that has had a recent “boom” in Colombia, added Currea.
The government estimates that by 2024 the medical cannabis business could grow to a $ 64 billion industry.
Other countries in the region such as Uruguay, Ecuador and Peru have also legalized the production of marijuana for medicinal purposes. AFP
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