The Financial Post reports in its Thursday edition that weed companies are rushing to set up operations in Colombia, looking to gain a foothold in one of Latin America's most notorious drug capitals.
A Bloomberg dispatch to the Post reports that growers, many with financial backing of firms from Canada and the United States, estimate as much as $500-million (U.S.) has been invested to buy farm land, build greenhouses and set up labs to produce oils, creams and other products that contain cannabidiol, or CBD, an extract used to treat everything from chronic pain to insomnia. So far, none is growing marijuana rich in THC, the substance that makes smokers high.
With the global cannabis market estimated to be worth more than $50-billion (U.S.) by 2025, Colombia has sought to become a centre of production for exports to countries around the world that are legalizing its use. Domestic laws permit small quantities of pot for personal consumption, but the country has not put in place final regulations for medical use.
Colombia in 2016 joined a small group of countries that permit cannabis cultivation, leading hundreds of companies to apply for licences. The country's natural advantage is its position near the equator.
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