Cannabis export process in Colombia is ‘Locked’

Colombia has estimated that exports of products processed from cannabis can amount to 6,000 million dollars annually.

Ground cannabis in a transparent plastic bag

Ground cannabis in a transparent plastic bag. / Photo: Unsplash - Reference Image

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño Camacho

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Leer en español: Proceso para exportaciones de Cannabis en Colombia está ‘Trabado’

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, the economist José Manuel Restrepo Abondano, declared himself unable to make decisions related to all issues related to cannabis for medicinal or scientific use as well as for the formulation and implementation of any type of policy public related to the topic. The reason for the minister is that he is a shareholder of the firm Medcann Pharma, a company that last August 2019 received the first quota to be able to manufacture cannabis derivatives for export.

After the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, accepted the impediment presented by his minister of commerce, he proceeded to appoint a minister Ad Hoc to resolve all issues concerning one of the most promising businesses today.

Duque Márquez, as the highest authority of the executive in the country, appointed the recently designated Prime Minister of Sport in the history of Colombia, Ernesto Lucena Barrero, to be at the forefront of this momentous issue for the country's economy.

But to the unpresentable parsimony in the management of the state apparatus in general, for the preparation, discussion, formulation, execution, and implementation of public policies in reference to this issue, is added the "decline" by Minister Lucena of the assignment that he became the president of the Republic.

It draws attention, because, for some analysts who have given their opinion in various media, someone can 'decline' to an offer, but not to an order from their hierarchical leader, “well, if we are already at the point where the ministers decide what order they fulfill or not, to the president, we are bad ” , affirmed the journalist Juan Pablo Calvás in the W Radio.

Lucena Barrero argues that it is contradictory that within its functions is the fight against doping and at the same time have to decide on nerve issues related to cannabis.

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And despite the fact that the minister consulted with the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, and he gave the endorsement by arguing that this is an independent issue of the regulations of each country, thus freeing the minister from any responsibility in this regard. Despite this, the Anti-Doping Group of the same ministry advises Minister Lucena not to take charge of the issue, stating the argument that it is paradoxical that he should be the highest authority in the country to pursue the use of marijuana in sports competitions and at the same time have to regulate its use.

This argument is presented without understanding that one thing is the use of substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency listed in the World Anti-Doping Code and another very different one is the scientific and medicinal use of this plant that potentially represents an immense foreign investment income in the country.

Colombia has estimated that exports of products processed from cannabis, can rise up to 6,000 million dollars per year, however, the pachydermia of state institutions such as the National Institute of Food and Drug Surveillance INVIMA makes it absolutely unthinkable that the 1,000 hectares projected to generate that important amount of money and attract foreign investment, are just a dream that many want to dream.

Colombia could go from being the coffee country to being the country of medical cannabis, however, this scenario looks very distant, at least while the government passes the 'obstacles' it has.

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