No More Obstacles: The Medicinal Marijuana Market Takes Flight In Colombia

After seeing few improvements with traditional medicines such as Levetiracetam or valproic acid, Fernando Segura, father of a child with epilepsy, heard on a radio program about new cannabis research or medical marijuana. “Why not try?” He asked. Hoping to find relief for his son’s illness, he decided to start cannabis treatment. He began little by little, offering only a few drops of the remedy to his son.

The results were amazing. Epileptic episodes, which occurred almost daily, began to happen every four days and today, after nearly three years of treatment, do not occur about a year and a half ago. This “miracle” has made Segura begin a program of gradual reduction of all medications, with the hope of getting to eliminate them from the life of his son.

Marijuana: Medicine For A Country In Transition

However, in addition to alleviating chronic conditions that do not respond to traditional treatments, the medicinal cannabis industry has a high degree of chaining and multiplying effect. In other words, it is a sector whose development has a high impact on the growth of different areas. According to Jonathan Malagon, Technical Vice President of Asobancaria and advisor to the World Bank, the final result is that the country’s economy has more inputs at its disposal for the production of goods and services.

Apart from this, the legal framework seems to arrive at a time when it is aligned with the goals of the National Government. According to Corchuelo, Colombia seeks to develop its industries to go beyond being a producer of raw materials. In that sense, the pharmaceutical industry that would be vigorously strengthened by medical cannabis is one of the five priorities. To this is added the desire to promote the development of peripheral regions and in the post-conflict era, where there is the talk of substitution of illicit crops, the planting of cannabis for medical use would be a good alternative for farmers from regions traditionally neglected by the State.…

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As already mentioned, stimulating the development of small and medium farmers and replacing illicit crops is one of the main challenges and overcoming them is an essential step. For example, in Cauca, José Adrian Ceballos has dedicated himself to planting cannabis since he was a child and today seeks to legalize all cultivation practices and join the wave of growth in the industry.

In his greenhouse, which currently has 600 plants, Adrian produces marijuana which, due to its composition, is especially medicinal. However, he says he has not had government support in the process, despite the fact that he has touched several doors. Also, he says that like him, many farmers also try to make the transition. Unfortunately, “we do not know how to present the productive projects that they ask for, or we do not have the resources to do them. There are many farmers here who cannot even read or write, “he says. There is no doubt that formulating policies closer to the reality of these people and facilitating access to resources is essential to achieve the linkage of small and medium producers.

Gonzalo Araujo and Juliana Ocampo, partners of Orza, a corporate strategic relationship company, have helped Canada (one of the cannabis industry companies in the country) to solve problems with the planting of 17 hectares of marijuana in Barichara, Santander. The community, in a town especially a tourist, is concerned about the type of visitors that this crop can attract. They fear that the plantation will attract people who use it recreationally and worry that this will affect the tourism of one of the heritage towns of Colombia.