Colombia’s President Ivan Duque last week signed a decree lifting the export ban on dried cannabis flower from the South American country, Reuters reports. The decree expands the sale of medical cannabis products and streamlines some regulations, the report says.
The move is seen as an important step in the country’s ongoing cannabis industry development where, despite being a leader in the global cannabis market, investors say the export process has been difficult.
While signing the decree, Duque said the Latin American cannabis market could be worth $6 billion.
“This means Colombia can enter to play a big role in the international market,” adding the order will help Colombia expand into food drinks, cosmetics, and other markets, Reuters reports.
Juan Diego Alvarez, vice president of regulatory issues for cannabis producer Khiron, told Reuters that, “lifting the prohibition on exporting the dry flower will start a regulatory process which we hope will be performed in great detail, to the highest international standards.”
Colombia legalized the export of medical cannabis in 2019 and has since become a leader in exporting seeds, plants, cannabis oils, creams, and extracts for medical use. Reuters reports that in other countries with more developed medical cannabis markets—like the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany—dried cannabis flower makes up 50% of the market.
On their website, Colombian cannabis industry association Asocolcanna wrote that “it’s crucial for Colombia to achieve its potential at a time when the global cannabis industry is being refined.” The organization urged the country to capitalize on its “competitive advantages,” Reuters notes.
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