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Industrial Use of Cannabis in Colombia Will Also Benefit SMEs and Farmers

With resolution 227 of 2022, the Colombian Government tried to democratize the industrial use of cannabis in Colombia through licenses for the cultivation, production, and commercialization of products.

Cannabis

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LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez

On February 20, the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, accompanied by the Ministers of Health and Justice, as well as as the Deputy Minister of Agricultural Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, announced the implementation of Resolution 227 of 2022, with which Decree 811 of 2021 is given free rein, which is nothing more than the regulation of industrial use of cannabis in this country.

According to Duque, “this resolution allows, defines and establishes all the mechanisms and procedures for the industrial use of the cannabis plant in sectors such as food, beverages, alcoholic beverages, and dietary supplements, defining, of course, that these uses must do with the non-psychoactive component”.

Thus, according to a document from the Ministry of Health, the idea with this new resolution is to be able to maintain and even improve the "supervision of products derived from this plant, while making it easier for the industry to carry out its activities."

It should be remembered that the uses that can be made of cannabis include, in addition to products based on cannabis, leaf, those that can be made with the stems and grains of this plant.

In this way, even though there is talk of "industrial use", the truth is that this new measure will not only benefit the country's large multinationals, which, of course, but also manage and control the industry of cannabis-based products, but also takes into account the incorporation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that, according to the official document of the resolution, wish to participate in the process of cultivation, production and national marketing of products derived from this plant.

The resolution covers these small and medium-sized entrepreneurs with six articles (from 132 to 137) in which it is explained, for example, for the national government what is a small or medium-sized entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, what are the associative schemes that these companies can be created to improve the cultivation, production, and marketing of cannabis products, as well as the protection and strengthening mechanisms for these enterprises.

For the national government, having the support of these economic actors is extremely important, since they become the first link in a chain of cultivation, production, and trade, both national and international, which allows improving the free industrial development of the country cannabis, as well as democratizing this sector of the economy in Colombia.

In fact, the president shared with the public that there are already several loans that have been issued so that SMEs can compete in this market: "advances have already been made in loans for small and medium-sized producers, those loans to they continue to develop through the Agrarian Bank, where cannabis producers are also provided with all the issues of foreign exchange management, monetization, and marketing from Colombia,” said Duque.

Also read: Infographic: Medicinal Cannabis, What is the Difference Between THC and CBD?

And the peasants?

Within the regulation of the industrial use of cannabis and the participation of SMEs in it, of course, there was also talk of accompanying the peasant workforce, so important for the first part of the production chain of the products made with this plant: the crop.

According to the Ministry of Health, in the licenses granted through the Information Mechanism for the Control of Cannabis (MICC), the production and marketing companies may outsource the work of the farmers, and their organizations within said licenses.

“In the event that your third party is a licensee, you will not need to carry out the license modification process. Otherwise, you must advance the modification process. The activities that may be outsourced are cultivation, harvest, and post-harvest; grain processing; the storage of seeds, grain, vegetable component, cannabis plants, cannabis, and cannabis derivatives; and the manufacture of derivatives”, explained the Health portfolio.

In this way, according to data provided by official Colombian entities, it is expected that by 2029, the Colombian cannabis industry, both for national consumption and for the export of its products, will generate at least 27,000 jobs (both in multinationals as well as SMEs and peasant organizations), with profits reaching up to 60 billion dollars.