Cannabis legislation in Colombia is at the forefront in Latin America

Catalina Pinilla, partner at Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas, announced the launch of a guide for companies to understand cannabis legislation in terms of production, marketing, import and export of the plant.

The guide contains some basic questions about cannabis regulation in different Latin American countries in which the laws are very different. The guide goes through and clarifies all activities allowed including veterinary, medicinal and recreational use of cannabis. 

The law is unclear in a lot of countries of Latin America. However, Colombia has a highly developed regulation. 

How is the legislative framework in Colombia?

In Colombia, only the use of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes is allowed. The use in food and beverages has not been regulated yet. Medicinal use includes medicines and magisterial formulas under medical prescriptions. The law stipulates the quantity of cannabis that can be used in a remedy as well as which laboratories can manufacture it. 

What permits do companies require?

Currently, different types of authorizations exist according to different steps of the operation. There are authorizations for the use of seeds for sowing; for the cultivation of psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis. 

If the cannabis has more than 1% or more THC, a license must be requested for its cultivation. If it’s under, an authorization for non-psychoactive plantations must be requested. The last permit concerns companies who wish to manufacture psychoactive cannabis derivatives such as oil, tincture or raw material to reach a final product. 

Where can you apply to start a cannabis venture? 

Permits need to be requested at the Ministry of Law and Justice or at Invima. Invima gives the applications for the manufacture of cannabis derivatives and the Ministry gives the authorization for the use of seeds and the sowing of psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis.

What are the requirements for the export of cannabis?

The law is pretty transparent: a company cannot export cannabis, marketing seeds or manufacturing cannabis without the corresponding license. If not respected, the law implies heavy financial penalties and the destruction of cannabis or its derived products.

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