Last week, Colombian LP Clever Leaves proudly announced they received Colombia’s first EU-GMP certification to produce Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), thus placing Colombian production one step closer to international exports.
The news was received by the industry as a complete game-changer and glimpse of hope, not only because of the current global halt, but also because it places Colombia in a leading position in Latin America. Although Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis, Colombia now holds the first Latin American EU-GMP API certification.
A few months ago, players like Peru and Mexico started to pose a real threat, although Mexico has not yet issued a specific regulation for medicinal cannabis. Now, it’s become clear Colombia has the lead, and new players represent opportunities to expand, including new-comer Ecuador as a potential destination for Colombian registered seeds.
Place your bets
This Colombian competitive advantage is not to be taken lightly. Receiving approval for EU-GMP standards requires qualified personnel, investment and a lot of patience, which means other early-stage players are going to have to wait a few years to see their first EU-GMP certified producer. Thus, Colombia could become the Latin American API production hub for our neighboring competitors.
To achieve this potential dream, key players have insisted on the importance of regulators allowing the import and export of dry flower. If other Latin American players start allowing the export of dry flower to major buyers in first world countries, Colombia could fall back in the race. And, if there are no clear regulations to import and transform Latin American dry flowers for export, you guessed it right, Colombia falls back in the race.
Though it may seem like the county’s future is in the hands of government regulators, we remain positive, as we know for a fact nothing in this industry is set in stone.
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