Colombia began its path towards cannabis legalization in 1986, and now has one of the most advanced regulatory systems on the continent. In late July, President Iván Duque authorized the legal sale and global export of dried cannabis for medical purposes.
Colombia passed a framework regulating the production, distribution, sale and export of seeds and other cannabis derivatives in 2016, but until now, the country had not allowed the export of dried cannabis flower.
With the signing of decree 811, the government released the country from the shackles that prevented it from dominating, if not conquering, the international cannabis markets.
According to the president's office, the global market for medicinal and industrial cannabis could be worth US$62 billion by 2024, and with an ideal climate for the plant, permissive legislation and low-cost production, Colombia is well-positioned to grab a big chunk of the global market share.
Local industry is dominated by a few players that attract investor attention above others. These companies feature very dissimilar business models that make up their most attractive characteristics.
Photo courtesy of Flora Growth.
Flora Growth Corp. FLGC is a Miami-based company that leverages all-natural, outdoor cultivation practices to supply cannabis derivatives to four business divisions.
Its “Cosechemos” cultivation farm, located in Bucaramanga, Colombia is licensed to cultivate 247 acres (100 hectares) of cannabis.
Flora Lab is the company’s manufacturing and R&D brand, producing pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and nutraceuticals for domestic and international markets. The brand sells products manufactured in its 16,000 sq. ft. facility across over 2,500 distribution channels.
Flora also owns Kasa Wholefoods, a Colombian company that produces food and beverages using responsibly sourced exotic fruits from the Amazon.
Flora Beauty is its CBD beauty and cosmetics division, founded by Colombian TV personality Paulina Vega.
Finally, the Hemp Textiles division leverages Flora Growth’s infrastructure to capture market share in the hemp industrials market segment.
Photo Courtesy of Allied Corp.
Allied Corp. ALID is a Canadian/Colombian cannabis company providing targeted cannabinoid and psilocybin health solutions.
Allied has both cannabinoid and psilocybin products in a pharmaceutical development pipeline, looking at depression, anxiety and PTSD as possible indications.
The company’s large-scale production in Colombia meets European Pharmacopeia QA standards. A second production and product fulfillment site with a Nevada state license mark the company’s increasing U.S. involvement.
“We have successfully proven our supply chain from seed in Colombia to shelf in international markets,” CEO Calum Hughes told Benzinga in an email, stating the company has successfully imported into the U.S. and several other international markets.
Allied has three wholly-owned subsidiaries structured as CBD brands, aimed at the U.S. market.
These are: Buds Pure Naturals, a natural health company with a catalog of nine cannabis-based topicals including Tactical Relief, which is earmarked to help military veterans, and Equilibrium Bio, a lifestyle brand focused on the athletic consumer.
Photo by Erika Mondragon, courtesy of Clever Leaves.
Clever Leaves Holdings Inc. CLVR is a producer of medical cannabis and hemp extracts that currently cultivates over 1.8 million square feet (16.7 hectares) of greenhouses in Colombia.
Founded in 2016 by Andres Fajardo, Julian Wilches and Gustavo Escobar, the company merged in 2019 with Northern Swan, its main investor and then named Kyle Detwiler as CEO.
Clever Leaves commercializes crude cannabis oils, distillates and isolates, as well as finished products through its B2B wholesaler platform called Clever Leaves 360.
Iqanna, Clever Leave’s pharmaceutical branch, is focused on research, cultivation, extraction, processing and distribution of medicinal cannabis.
Additionally, Clever Leaves manages three wellness and beauty consumer brands and has a portfolio of other cannabis companies in its investment platform.
Its extraction facility is currently capable of extracting 2,400 kilograms of dried cannabis
flower per month.
In 2019, the company received authorization to cultivate medical cannabis in Portugal and has started operations on a 90-hectare Portuguese farm.
One World Pharma
One World Pharma Inc. OWPC is a Las Vegas-based supplier of hemp-derived ingredients for use in the manufacturing of consumer packaged goods, over-the-counter and medical products.
The company, which has a cultivation facility in Popayan, Colombia, has been granted four licenses, including non-psychoactive low THC cultivation, manufacture of hemp derivatives and seed use.
The company’s operations consist of cultivation for R&D and commercial export. It is currently growing and harvesting in covered greenhouses optimized for hemp cultivation for research and development purposes. It has formal approval from ICA (Colombian Agriculture and Livestock Institute) for the registration of 25 cultivars subject to characterization. One World also completed the characterization of several non-psychoactive cultivars in 2019.
Photo courtesy of Khiron.
Khiron Life Sciences KHRN KHRNF is a vertically integrated cannabis producer with core operations in Colombia.
The company was founded in 2017 and carries three business segments: Med, Health Services and Wellbeing.
Khiron Med commercializes THC and CBD products to pharmacies in Colombia and at Khiron’s own medical clinics.
It also commercializes CBD and THC extracts in Peru and dry flower in Germany and in the UK, through third-party harvest operations located in Spain.
The segment was also selected to provide cannabis products to Project Twenty21, a European initiative to facilitate access to medical marijuana.
The company has a yearly cultivation capacity of 8,000 kilograms of dried flower and owns a 14,000 square foot (0.13 hectares) extraction facility, which is GMP and ISO compliant.
Khiron Health Services manages three large health clinics in Colombia that work with cannabis as an alternative medicine wherein they offer an array of traditional medical options including neurological, psychiatric, respiratory, urological, sleep and orthopedic attention. This segment also operates six smaller walk-in clinics across Colombia and one in Lima, Peru.
Khiron Wellbeing, the company’s consumer-product segment, handles Kuida, a consumer brand of cannabis-based products for “beauty, lifestyle, fitness, nutrition and healthy living.”
Avicanna’s crops in Santa Marta. Photo courtesy of Avicanna.
Avicanna AVCN AVCNF is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of cannabinoids exclusively for the medical cannabis, health and wellness markets.
Avicanna is headquartered at the Johnson & Johnson JLABS Innovation Centre in Toronto, where it handles R&D operations. The company has been working with leading academic and clinical institutes on the R&D and clinical development of its products since 2017. These include the University of Toronto, University Health Network, Sick Kids and the University of Guelph.
The company also cultivates and processes cannabinoids through its two majority-owned subsidiaries, Sativa Nativa and Santa Marta Golden Hemp, both located in Santa Marta, Colombia. The two make up 410,000 square feet (3.8 hectares) of cultivation capacity with a production capacity of over 30,000 kg of biomass per year.
The Colombian facilities produce THC, CBD, CBG and other rare cannabinoids that are utilized for the company’s finished products and also offered to the global marketplace under the Aureus Santa Marta brand. The company has exported feminized seeds, CBD, THC or CBG to nine countries.
Avicanna also owns Rho Phyto, a medical cannabinoid brand currently in commercialization in Colombia and Canada through an exclusive partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart.
Pura Earth is Avicanna’s CBD derma-cosmetic consumer brand, available in Canada, the U.S. and Colombia. The brand is planning an expansion to Ecuador and the U.K.
Photo Courtesy of PharmaCielo.
PharmaCielo PCLO PCLOF is a Toronto-based cannabis company that was founded in 2014. It grows and extracts cannabis in Colombia through its wholly-owned operating subsidiary PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings S.A.S.
PharmaCielo has more than 1.2 million square feet (12 hectares) under cultivation at its open-air greenhouses. Its Rionegro facility is Colombia’s largest cannabis processing center, capable of processing 360 tons of biomass annually.
PharmaCielo commercializes medicinal-grade CBD and THC extracts and value-added formulations. The company supplies those input materials to large channel distributors and end-product manufacturers. Over the past year, PharmaCielo expanded its client rosters and completed exports of its extracts to clients in Canada, Brazil, the U.K., Germany and Poland.
Main photo courtesy of Flora Growth
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