According to the International Narcotics Control Board – an independent body associated with the UN – in 2000, the lawful production of cannabis seeds in the world was of the order of 1.4 tons. Seventeen years later, that number jumped to 406.1 tons, an explosive increase that represents the expansion of legally produced marijuana cultivation fields, whether for research, to transform into medicine, or for consumption.
During these days, the streets of the United States and other countries in Europe are flooded with Colombian flowers. It is a multicolored photo that is repeated every year, and that represents hundreds of millions of dollars for the country’s flower industry. However, a new agribusiness activity flourishes these days in greenhouses, wineries, and laboratories in Colombia, largely for the money that comes from the Toronto Stock Exchange and the accumulated capital of large rice, flowers, and coffee entrepreneurs, among others.
A Growing Market
According to the study Entering the topic: CBD and Cannabis in Latin America Report 2019, the national market amounts to 18 million dollars, and by 2023, it will reach 258.
Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Chile are going the same way, and in the next four will be, along with Mexico, the most important markets in Latin America, mainly driven by CBD products specialized in beauty and personal care.
What happens in the rest of the world? Something similar, so much so that a report by the Standard & Poor’s rating agency, carried out with data from the Euromonitor consultancy, reveals that the global market is equivalent to about 150,000 million dollars a year, with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and beauty products. By 2025 the legal market is expected to reach 166,000 million dollars.
According to the report, approximately 10% of the world market is illegal, which could change in the coming years because of more stringent regulatory frameworks in more countries. Where will you see the greatest growth? In Canada, the United States, Western Europe, and some nations of South America.
For now, there are more and more countries where it is legal to use marijuana for recreational or medical purposes; Mexico, Canada, Holland, India, Israel, Chile, Australia, Czech Republic, Uruguay, Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, United States, Jamaica, Portugal stand out.
Obviously, there are some restrictions; for example, in Mexico, personal consumption is decriminalized; the medicinal and legal scientific use with up to 1% THC, and legal cultivation for medicinal and scientific use and personal consumption. In Colombia, a maximum of 22 grams per person is allowed and legal sale and distribution for medicinal and scientific use and legal cultivation for personal consumption, up to twenty plants, while in Holland, certain places can be consumed and possession of up to five grams is tolerated.
Although in other countries, the big cigar and soft drink companies are already betting on CBD-based products, there is talk of a ‘gray market’ that not everyone makes the ugly one.
“Juan,” for example, has its own crops at home, which has developed its own cannabis essential oils based on trial and error. He sells them through the Internet or through WhatsApp groups, where he already has recurring consumers.