Denis Contri participates in the Expo Bogotá Cannabis 2018
February 04, 2019
The cannabis industry in Colombia continues to project roots - a fact that was noted at the third Bogotá Cannabis Expo held at the ECCI University on campus 170. PIDEKA marked its presence at the event with two keynote addresses for entrepreneurs who want to venture into the sector.
At 8:30 in the morning on Friday, November 16, a long line of people lined up to enter the warehouse where the Expo Bogotá Cannabis took place. From the outset you could see a distinguished audience, well-dressed and presented men and women to immerse themselves in a new world of business possibilities: the world of cannabis. Inside, exhibition stands of companies with state-of-the-art technology were outlined before a large hall where hundreds of people could learn about the latest scientific, medicinal and legislative discoveries. Most of the nearly 1,000 attendees were entrepreneurs eager to enter the business in some way, but there were also doctors, professionals, and patients seeking a better understanding of how cannabis works.
According to an August 2018 study revealed by the Colombian Observatory for Research in Medicinal Cannabis - OCICAM -, in Colombia, 154 licenses have already been issued to a majority of business groups, to enter into production related to planting, cultivation, and cannabis product processing. The regulatory framework is broad and bold, evaluated as progressive compared to regulatory strategies in other countries, and allows the development of a leading industry in the sector. 30% of the total licenses are located in Cundinamarca. The region is preparing for business, and is increasingly seeking information and guidance at events like this.
It is not just regulations that make an economy. The challenges of the companies that enter this market are diverse, as much as the multiple types of uses that can be given to derivatives of that plant. But the cornerstone on which everything else in this industry is built is the cultivation of the plant, which is not usually simple, or of processes that are simply transferable from a rose or coffee crop, as some people tend to think.
It was what Denis Contri, director of cultivation of PIDEKA SAS, explained in his two conferences throughout the event.
“Cannabis is an extremely variable crop, with numerous breeds of essentially unstable genetic traits that respond very differently to environmental stimuli. That is why it is very difficult to stabilize a product from the plant in regular outdoor crops. It is this same characteristic that makes a hemp plant lose the productive potential of CBD under the Colombian sun Contri explained.
According to the only “mastergrower” lecturer at the event, a cultivation plan specifically focused on cannabis - and medicinal precision - is essential for a successful operation. That is why his company opted for an indoor cultivation operation, fully supported by electric bulbs, in which conditions can be easily modulated to obtain maximum control of the cultivation characteristics, thus achieving the much desired stabilization of the crops, and consequent stabilization of the products from these crops.
He also discussed the characteristics that differentiate one race from another, and the elements in its composition that make certain races of cannabis useful in some cases, and other races useful in other cases. To know how to use the compounds in specific diseases and how to grow plants that generate these compounds, it is necessary to have field experience, closeness with patients and doctors, but especially with attention to cultivation. He closed with a message to entrepreneurs: "It is not foreign investment or large investments that the company carries and adds value, it is the grower."