By Justin Samuels
As Canada prepares for recreational legalization next year, Canadian companies have become massive investors in global cannabis markets. Canadian companies have purchased or made significant investments in Australian and German medical marijuana companies. Canopy, a Canadian cannabis company, has also expanded to Brazil and Chile. The most interesting overseas Canadian cannabis investment is that of PharmaCielo in Colombia.
Colombia legalized medical marijuana at the end of 2015. This was a part of Colombia’s strategy of phasing out the war on drugs and giving rural people legal ways of earning income. Legalization also takes revenues away from organized crime and guerillas while supplying the government with needed income. As Colombia legalized marijuana, it attracted attention from foreign investors. The Colombian government issues licenses to legal growers of marijuana and coca. PharmaCielo is the first foreign investor to gain approval from the Colombian government for the cultivation and the export of medical marijuana. PharmaCielo is prepping up for massive production and export of cannabis oils and other cannabis products.
Why would PharmaCielo have invested in growing in Colombia? Colombia has a warm climate with abundant rainfall. Meaning marijuana can be easily grown year round outside, and this keeps the costs of products down. In Canada, legal marijuana is grown indoors at great expense as the climate doesn’t allow year round outdoor cultivation. Climate controlled greenhouses also use up considerable energy, and this isn’t good for the environment. Also, the cost of labor due to the low Colombian peso is low, so PharmaCielo has decided to have both cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana products in Colombia. This brings legal income from Canada, and from other countries where cannabis is legal, into Colombia. PharmaCielo is anticipating a shortage of marijuana when it becomes legal in 2018 in Canada, and in Australia and Europe which have their own legalization movements. PharmaCielo has wisely established themselves as the first foreign grower of marijuana in Colombia. By positioning itself in Colombia, as more interest in ethnobotanicals increases around the world, PharmaCielo may be able to bring other products to the market.