Some investors see great potential for cannabis production and processing in Colombia despite a few regulatory and climactic hurdles. For starters, the equator runs through Colombia, meaning warm temperatures, tropical rains, and long, sunny days, conditions that are perfect for growing cannabis plants, including industrial hemp from which CBD can be extracted.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis plants that has become more widely popularized and legalized in recent years, largely due to claims of it medicinal properties.
A key advantage for the Colombian industry is cost, as cheap land and inexpensive but skilled agricultural labor are widely available in the country. The cost advantage for producing 1 gram of cannabis flower in Colombia vs. in the U.S. or Canada can range between 90 cents and $1.60, per Cannabis Business Times.
Colombian cannabis businesses understand their cost advantage and look to lean heavily on export markets to maximize revenue forward.
Some regulatory challenges exist for exports of Colombian cannabis products, though, such as dried flower not being classified as a finished good because regulators want the focus to be on extracts. Thus, CBD oil must be processed fully processed in Colombia before leaving the country.
Another challenge is climate. Equatorial longitude is very favorable for producing flower but can be troublesome when growing cannabis for fiber. This is driving botanists to develop a variety to withstand tropical climates, which could perhaps also be farmed safely at similar longitudes, such as in Indonesia or Ghana, per HempToday.
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