Colombia has 100-plus licensed cannabis corporations, however solely a handful have registered cultivars


Curiosity in Colombia’s medical marijuana market is booming, however a Marijuana Enterprise Each day evaluation exhibits that – out of over 100 licensed cannabis firms working within the nation – few have completed registering their first cultivars, a prerequisite to rising crops for industrial functions.

To date, no firm is promoting or exporting medical cannabis commercially.

That highlights the challenges – and future milestones – nonetheless dealing with companies working in Colombia’s medical marijuana business.

As of Could 2019, solely 4 firms had absolutely registered cultivars with the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA):

  • Medcann
  • Intelligent Leaves
  • FCM World
  • Santa Marta Golden Hemp, which is 60% owned by the Canadian biotech firm Avicanna.

A yr in the past, most Colombian cannabis firms have been centered on acquiring licenses and securing funding.

At present, many boast immense licensed areas, theoretical manufacturing capacities, subtle advertising and marketing plans and low anticipated prices of manufacturing. However necessary regulatory points nonetheless stay the important thing hurdle prone to separate the leaders from the remainder of the pack – doubtlessly within the close to future.

Cultivars registration

Till the top of 2018, licensed firms might benefit from an industrywide amnesty that allowed them to register seeds with the ICA with out having to justify their origin.

Not having to show the origin of seeds offered a bonus over newcomers. Those who didn’t begin the registration earlier than Dec. 31 might want to supply their beginning supplies from domestically registered seeds or import them.

Andres Lopez, former head of Colombia’s Nationwide Narcotics Fund, defined that “the prolonged course of to acquire ICA registry for every cultivar requires experimentation from seed to reap based on a strict methodology outlined by ICA.”

“On the finish of the method, flower yield, cannabinoid content material and different technical info of the particular cultivar is audited by the ICA,” he mentioned. “Upon profitable outcomes, an ICA crew points an approval, known as ‘acta,‘ needed for the ICA to complete the method with a decision, the ultimate doc that certifies the registration of the cultivar.”

With out absolutely registered genetics with the ICA, rising cannabis for industrial functions will not be attainable.

The next firms completed the agronomic analysis checks with the ICA, based on info MJBizDaily had entry to. The chart consists of info at present out there on the ICA web site and more moderen documentation offered by a number of firms:

Psychoactive cannabis cultivars Nonpsychoactive cannabis cultivars Complete
Medcann 5 0 5
Intelligent Leaves 15 5 20
FCM World 4 1 5
Santa Marta Golden Hemp 3 1 4
Pharmacielo* 19 1 20
Complete 46 8 54

*Pharmacielo introduced it “acquired approval” from the ICA for 10 cultivars in February 2019 and for 10 extra varieties in March 2019. MJBizDaily had entry to the “actas” approving the agronomic analysis, however not the ultimate resolutions, which the corporate acknowledged haven’t but been issued by the ICA.

MJBizDaily will not be conscious of some other firm that absolutely registered genetics as of Could 2019, however that can’t be dominated out.

MJBizDaily reached out to a number of Colombian firms through e-mail – together with Khiron (TSXV: KHRN), Spectrum (Cover Development subsidiary), Colcanna (Aphria subsidiary), MED Colombia (Aurora subsidiary), Blueberries Medical (CSE: BBM), Pideka and Foliumed – to find out if that they had completed registering genetics with the ICA or after they count on to finish the primary ones.

Blueberries, Foliumed and Khiron replied:

  • Camilo Villalba, chief working officer of Blueberries, instructed MJBizDaily that the corporate is within the “ultimate part of the agronomic analysis checks” and expects “to acquire the primary industrial varieties with excessive contents of CBD through the Q3 of 2019.”
  • Diego Navarro, CEO of Foliumed, additionally expects to finalize the registration of the primary genetics in “Q3 of 2019.
  • A Khiron spokesperson declined to remark.

No industrial quotas granted thus far

Colombia’s cannabis framework permits gross sales solely of cannabis extracts, not flower.

Along with the licensing system, the nation regulates manufacturing and distribution of “psychoactive” merchandise by a quota system. The system permits manufacturing of “psychoactive cannabis” – outlined as THC better than or equal to 1% – solely after a particular quota is granted.

Quotas apply to “psychoactive cannabis,” to not CBD, and are granted provided that firms can show authorized demand for his or her merchandise.

No firm at present has acquired a industrial quota. Allowances have been made just for analysis and improvement.

Lopez summarized the trail to promote merchandise containing psychoactive cannabis as follows:

  1. License holders should end their genetics characterization course of with the ICA.
  2. They have to full an R&D course of for oils or extracts to be exported or used domestically, offering technical and high quality specs of potential merchandise.

“Earlier than granting any commercialization quota, the federal government grants an R&D quota for firms to point out they’ll produce a steady and clearly outlined product,” Lopez mentioned.

Firms aiming to export medical cannabis to the European Union may even want to achieve EU-Good Manufacturing Observe certification, one thing no Colombian cannabis producer has but to realize.

To date, the one export from Colombia has been for testing functions.

Just one firm is at present legally promoting merchandise with CBD content material inside Colombia’s home market. Khiron began gross sales after receiving approval a yr in the past to promote CBD-infused cosmetics.

Blueberries just lately mentioned it acquired approval to promote comparable merchandise. However whereas Khiron merchandise are already out there within the Colombian market, Blueberries plans to start out promoting through the second half of this yr.

As a result of these merchandise are usually not bought as medical cannabis, no medical claims may be made.

Contemplating Khiron had no registered cultivars as of Could 2019, it seems the corporate is importing CBD to fabricate cosmetics and isn’t utilizing its personal crops grown in Colombia. The corporate declined to confirm when requested by MJBizDaily.

Blueberries mentioned the CBD it used to provoke the manufacturing of beauty merchandise was imported to Colombia from the US.

Alfredo Pascual may be reached at [email protected]


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