Pideka, Flora Growth and Avicanna, in the boom in the export of medicinal cannabis

With the authorization to commercialize dried flower, companies will be able to enter a market that moves more than US $ 3.04 billion

Sofía Solórzano C -

With the new rules of the game for the export of medicinal cannabis and the endorsement to include the dried flower, the companies in the market see an opportunity for greater dynamism.

"We are clear that more than 50% of the cannabis market is generated by dried flower and the legalization of the export presents a very important economic benefit for the cannabis industry in Colombia," said Luis Merchán, president of Flora Growth Colombia.

To date, according to Euromonitor International, the global market for dried cannabis flower amounts to US $ 3.04 billion and allowing its sale from Colombia could solidify its position as a hub for the export of raw materials for the industry.

In addition, according to Borja Sanz de Madrid, president of Pideka, the possibility is now open to reach many more clients than those who had already been conquered with the extract format.

“We have three markets: one that is the dried flower, which is probably the largest of all and is a business with more volume; that of the medicinal extract for the pharmaceutical industry, which is more technical, and then the final products to treat pathologies. But the flower is not going to delay or affect the exports of final products because they are two different clients, ”said Sanz.

Pideka is already in talks with Denmark, Germany, Portugal and Brazil to export dried flower, which would be a first boost for this nascent market.

Euromonitor's record indicates that the Colombian cannabis market for 2020 was US $ 9.2 million, US $ 8.6 million represented by the CBD category and the remaining amount in medical cannabis. For the company, the categories could present an increase of 1,035% by 2025.

“This measure has impacts beyond the consumption of medicinal cannabis flower. Also in the global supply chain for the industry. Dried flower exports mean cheaper raw material for processed cannabis internationally, which can translate into greater access for patients around the world, ”said Erwin Henriquez, senior analyst at Euromonitor.

With this panorama, companies also emphasize that it is necessary not to neglect the focus of the local industry, nor the objective of reaching other markets with products that have strong added value.

“The important thing in all this is that the focus be kept on the value-added product, which is where the profits for the country are most concentrated. In the short term ”, highlighted Lucas Nosiglia, president of Avicanna.

For Nosiglia an important push for the industry may be to allow a registration system for pharmaceutical grade end products in competitive times. In addition, I emphasize that it is necessary to start moving forward in a unified way.

"With the robustness of the clearer and broader regulations and rules, it is essential that a country brand can be formed around medicinal cannabis," proposed the president of Avicanna.

Las proyecciones de la venta de cannabis

Además de la flor seca, otras categorías del cannabis muestran proyecciones favorables sobre su aporte a la economía del país. Econcept, por ejemplo, estima que el cannabis podría representar hasta US$17.700 millones, por encima de otros productos representativos como el café, US$2.268 millones e incluso el petróleo, con US$16.843 millones.

Por su parte, Euromonitor International destaca que de legalizarse la marihuana recreativa la cifra podría llegar a US$435 millones para 2025; el cannabis medicinal a US$390 millones y el mercado de CBD, sin componente psicoactivo a US$69 millones en el mismo tiempo.

"Las entidades gubernamentales tienen hoy más experiencia en los procesos y poco a poco se va transformando la cultura de aceptación de cannabis como una planta beneficiosa para la salud. El camino es largo, se debe equilibrar la cancha, se requiere la inclusión de todos los actores del sector y hacer realidad la democratización de los beneficios que brinda la nueva regulación", concluyó Rafael Amador, director corporativo de Procannacol.

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