You could argue that Colombia already dominates the illegal drug trade in the world. According to the DEA, last year 92% of the cocaine in the United States came from Colombia. The South American country used to be the source of most of the illegal marijuana in the U.S. until hydroponic and indoor methods took over, and of course state legal marijuana.
So, the Colombian government has taken on a new stance towards marijuana, if you cannot beat them, then regulate them. It is a philosophy being adopted in states throughout the United States. But, it is Colombia’s intention to dominate the world cannabis market. Our failed drug war here in the United States and abroad in countries like Colombia is proof enough for many lawmakers that legalization is the way to go.
“You are looking at history,” beamed Camilo Ospina, the lab-coat-wearing chief innovation officer for PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings, gesturing like a showman before a sprawling greenhouse of pungent cannabis plants. His company is one of a fast-rising number of corporations seeking to leverage the “made in Colombia” label in a new age of legalization.
“Our advantage is that the Colombian brand already has a mystique,” he said. “We want to intensify that, so that the Colombian cannabis you already know — the Punto Rojo, the Colombian Gold — is the cannabis you want to buy.”
In 2016, the country passed a landmark law legalizing medical marijuana for both domestic use and export, laying the groundwork for the new industry. The government started handing out the first licenses to grow, process and export medicinal cannabis in September, approving 33 companies so far. Legal growers such as Canadian-owned PharmaCielo are now raising test crops for upcoming product lines, with the first commercial sales and exports slated for the coming weeks and months.
Colombia gold is a strain of marijuana out of Colombia that many people in the United States were smoking without probably knowing it. The country has the right climate for cannabis cultivation, but should the United States just let this multi billion dollar industry go to Canada, Israel and Colombia?