Colombia boosts nascent cannabis industry by removing ban on export of dried flowers

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BOGOTA, July 23 (Reuters) – Colombia on Friday gave the green light to exports of dried cannabis for medical and other industries, as the Andean country took another step to develop its marijuana industry, where progress has been slow despite high potential.

President Ivan Duque signed an executive order lifting the ban on the export of dried cannabis flowers, a move considered crucial by investors.

The directive also allows for the expansion of sales of cannabis-based medicines and streamlines regulatory procedures.

While Colombia has been hailed as a pioneer in regulating the possession, production, distribution, marketing and export of seeds, plants and substances derived from cannabis – such as oils, creams and extracts to medical use – investors have long complained about what they say is a tortuous export approval process.

“This means that Colombia can enter to play an important role in the international market,” Duque said after signing the decree, adding that the new rules would allow the Colombian cannabis industry to thrive in food and drink. beverages, cosmetics and other sectors.

Cannabis exports to Latin America could be worth $ 6 billion, Duque said.

“The lifting of the ban on the export of the dried flower will launch a regulatory process which we hope will be carried out in great detail in accordance with the highest international standards,” Juan Diego Alvarez, vice-president, told Reuters. chair of regulatory issues for cannabis producer Khiron.

Colombian cannabis industry association Asocolcanna urged the country to seize the opportunity to make the most of its competitive advantages.

“It is crucial for Colombia to realize its potential at a time when the global cannabis industry is refined,” Asocolcanna said in a letter posted on its website.

In countries where the medicinal cannabis industry has more mature regulation, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Israel, dried cannabis is the most developed sector of the market, accounting for over 50% of all sales.

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra in Bogota Writing by Oliver Griffin Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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