Could Colombia’s reversal on allowing medical cannabis flower exports impact the global market?

There are always people claiming that new changes mean some such country will be “The next big X in cannabis or hemp”. Recent examples include North Macedonia, Thailand, Brazil, Paraguay, Lesotho, Malawi, and of course, Colombia.

And there is no guarantee that any changes instigated will have the desired effects. There is a lot more needed than just a simple change in law giving producers permission. Infrastructure-skilled labour, favourable climate as well as other natural resources, ease of export and general attractiveness will all play a part.

Colombia does appear to have quite a few of those prerequisites in place, and what’s more, it has already seen a decent amount of investment from international firms that are banking on it being the grow-centre for their international operations.

And perhaps as the market continues to globalise, it will have a chance. But it will face competition from others. For medical flower exports, it will likely come down to a combination of price and ease of access – though if Colombia is able to grow some varieties that cannot be produced in other markets and that are shown to have some additional effect, it may keep an advantage in that area no matter what.

But, for example, will it be able to compete with the likes of North Macedonia in terms of ease of access and price for European markets? Could African countries realise their potential and end up producing products at a price that undercuts even Colombia?

The already committed investment and the seeming rise of lucrative nearby South American medical cannabis markets suggest a positive. But there is no guarantee Colombia will fully be able to truly impact the global medical flower market at this time.

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