Best Latin American Cannabis Companies

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 10, 2022

After being a primary target for the U.S. War on Drugs for decades, Latin America has now become a primary target for the weed business. Federal law still prohibits the importation of plants and seeds containing THC, as it’s a Schedule I drug on paper, but bills that would allow cannabis to enter the country are gaining steam. 

Ironic that Latin America may soon be supplying some of the legal cannabis in the U.S.? Perhaps… but money talks, and there is a lot to be said about what Latin American cannabis companies have to offer the U.S. (and global) market.  

Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador are the only Latin American countries that do not allow medical or recreational cannabis use, though exportation laws vary greatly throughout the region. 

Currently, Colombia is already producing weed sold in the U.S.

Best Latin American Cannabis Companies

In June, Benzinga announced that the “Best Cannabis Conference in Latin America” would be happening on Sept 1 and 2 in Panama. LATAM CANN.BIZZ will feature many companies and business personnel from the global cannabis market as they come to discuss their business with some of the locals in the quickly-growing Latin American cannabis market. 

This article will take a look at seven companies that will be sure to be there joining the fun and looking to further expand into the global market.


Location: Colombia/Canada

Headquartered in Toronto, PharmaCielo is the world’s largest licensed cannabis producer… but all that weed doesn’t come from Canada. They have a wholly-owned subsidiary called PharmaCielo Colombia located in Rionegro where their product is produced in open-air greenhouses that use natural rain and sunlight making it both environmentally friendly, and cheaper. 

PharmaCielo Colombia was the first Colombian company to receive a license to produce and export cannabis, and they produce both CBD and THC products. The Canadian parent company also exports medicinal extracts to other foreign markets after processing. So, thanks to Canada, Colombian weed is all around the world, legally. 


Location: Mexico/Canada

Though cannabis hasn’t been fully legalized in Mexico (yet… it’s expected very soon), an irrevocable Supreme Court injunction in December granted Xebra authorization to cultivate and process CBD cannabis plants. It also allows for the company to extract cannabinoids and manufacture oils and other non-flower products. 

The first-mover authorization is expected to apply to only Xebra for at least a year making it the only legal weed company in Mexico, albeit only in the CBD space for now. Legalization of THC is expected in the very near future, however, and Xebra stands to be in a wonderful position to tap that market immediately when allowed to do so. 

3. Flora Growth

Location: Colombia/U.S./Canada

Flora Growth is another company that is cashing in on Colombia’s production efficiency. It has one of the largest outdoor operations in Latin America and supplies products to Flora Growth’s Canada headquarters where it is distributed as flower and also used to create waxes and other byproducts. 

The company also prides itself on sustainability which, as mentioned earlier, is easier to accomplish with production operations in Colombia’s climate. 

4. One World Products (Formely One World Pharma)

Location: Colombia/U.S

This company also gets the majority of its product supply from Colombia, but as they only do business in the U.S. (Las Vegas-based), it is currently still only in the CBD and hemp spaces.

Owned by NBA basketball legend Isiah Thomas, One World is the largest black-managed cannabis country in the world. The reason they changed their name was to make it very clear that they are actively participating in using commercial hemp for other products. 

The publicly traded company was just selected by Stellantis to be part of their Black Supplier Development program and has partnered with them to develop and supply hemp-based bioplastics. You can’t smoke them, but that’s pretty darn cool. 

5. Silverpeak 

Location: Uruguay/U.S.

Silverpeak is unique on this list because it started as nothing more than a mom-and-pop cannabis shop in Colorado. It has since grown exponentially and has made investments in production in several places, including Uruguay where they own the legal subsidiary Fotmer Corporation.

Recently, Fotmer requested the Uruguayan cannabis regulatory agency IRCCA raise its annual production permit to 400 tons of cannabis flower. That’s a big, big number, and if successful, Silverpeak and their boots on the ground in Uruguay will be set up for a lot of success in the future. 

How to Partner with Cannabis Companies in Latin America

The major deterrent for U.S. cannabis companies conducting business south of the border is the federal government, as weed is still a Schedule I drug in the eyes of Uncle Sam. Who knows how quickly things will move, but there was some reason for optimism among cannabis companies looking to import and export when The Biden Administration took over. 

However, campaign talks and action items don’t regularly align in politics, and there hasn’t been much progress yet from a presidential standpoint. New bill are gaining steam on the floor every month, though, and it’s not just for federal legalization. Bills related to the international cannabis business are already frequently drawn up, and CBD’s federal legalization also allows for importing and exporting of any plants with legal limits of THC (the psychoactive drug found in many cannabis plants). 

With that, the short term answer as to how to partner with cannabis companies in Latin America is: stick to CBD and hemp for now. Setting up your production and supply chain for a quick plug-and-play once THC does become a product that can be imported certainly is a low-cost, high-reward move as the proverbial wheels turn on Latin American grass legally entering the United States. 

Types of Cannabis Businesses

Most cannabis businesses that would partner with a U.S. company would be in production, as the costs are much lower in Latin America, and many argue that the outdoor grows make for a more enjoyable product, as well. 

However, as cannabis legalization floods Central and South America, here’s a look at some other businesses that help people in these places get legal access to the curative powers of cannabis (as well as those who just want to puff a joint with their friends). 


Cannabis cultivation is a lot more than watering and trimming, and with grow operations that are literally some of the biggest in the world, Latin American cultivators need to know as much about science as they do about cannabis plants. 

Cultivators are responsible for determining where the weed should be grown when the best time to plant and harvest is, and which soils, lighting, and chemicals (if any) to use before ever even planting the first seed. 

Dispensary Crews

Dispensaries are now available in many countries south of the U.S. Uruguay led the way, making cannabis recreationally legal in 2013, and now, at least medically, dispensaries are commonplace in more Latin countries than they are not.

Generally, dispensaries don’t grow their own weed on site, but through contracts with cultivators and legal entities, they are the hubs where consumers can come learn about all of the products and hopefully find the exact healing or high they are looking for.


In Uruguay, alone, flower exports accounted for almost $6 million USD in sales in 2021, and foreign investments are rolling in, so it’s safe to assume that number will continue to grow. With that, suit-and-tie jobs relative to the cannabis business are important and in increasing demand.

If global business and marijuana are two industries you’re interested in or have experience with, Latin America should have your full attention over the next several years. 

Import/Export Security

Not unlike the United States, the rapid legalization of cannabis across Central and South America has led to some pretty upset black market drug producers who didn’t want anything to do with legalization. 

With that, importing and exporting cannabis is a higher risk than with many other products, but also gives an opportunity for security personnel. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Is cannabis legal in Latin America?


In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreational weed. Since, the majority of countries allow for, at least, medical cannabis to be legal in Latin America.


Can U.S. companies buy from Latin American cannabis firms?


This is a murky subject, but the direct answer is “yes…if it’s CBD or hemp.”  THC is still illegal to import into the U.S., but Canada is a great case study as the import and export huge amounts of cannabis.