While the United States sees its fair share of legal reworking around medicinal and recreational cannabis use, Colombia has recently announced that its government health insurance will include medicinal cannabis products under its coverage.
Cannabis Under Colombian Healthcare
A month ago, the Colombian Senate approved a bill to legalize cannabis nationwide; though, there are still more legislative steps that need to be taken before it’s potentially enacted into law, we’re now seeing steps being implemented toward legalization.
And while the overwhelming majority of congress voted to approve the bill to legalize cannabis, it’s reassuring to see the Health Ministry take steps to implement the new coverage under the government’s healthcare.
Below is an excerpt from the press release:
- Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (“Khiron” or the “Company”) (TSXV: KHRN) (OTCQX: KHRNF) (Frankfurt: A2JMZC), announces that the new Colombian government has included plant-based medical cannabis products (i.e., Khiron products) in the list of mandatory insurance-covered medications starting January 1st, 2023, as well as the signing of a first-of-its-kind medical cannabis contract with one of Colombia´s largest insurance companies based in the city of Bogota.
On December 30th, 2022, the Ministry of Health signed Resolution 2808 of 2022. This was the revision necessary to remove unintended ambiguities that arose surrounding whether plant-based magistral preparations for medical cannabis were also included in the government’s insurance coverage.
Now, after the signing of the Resolution, it’s completely clear that the government is fully committed to the use of medical cannabis treatment under the Colombian healthcare system.
Cannabis In Colombia
Immediately after the legalization bill was voted toward the approval to legalize cannabis, we saw a massive increase in cannabis investment initiatives in Colombia.
Everything from growing plants to the integration between industries to help improve foreign cannabis investments has been on a sharp increase.
Some of the new opportunities that have been popping up include:
- Capital injection by investment funds
- Set up R&D labs for new product development
- Add new medical cannabis cultivated hectares to extract raw materials
- Establish production plants to manufacture value-added products
- Create specialized agrochemical production plants for medical cannabis crops
- Invest in technology related to cannabis crops (automated systems such as climate control, air conditioning, etc.)
With the rate at which Colombia is accelerating towards full cannabis legalization in the country, we may see adult use become legal as soon as June.
Another positive sign of the legalization movement in Colombia is that the vast majority of congress is behind and supporting the movement toward cannabis legalization.
President Gustavo Petro has been fully supportive of drug legalization and the disbandment of prohibition since he took office in August. During a meeting at the UN, he urged member countries to work towards changing their policies towards drugs and prohibition.
The president has also mentioned on numerous occasions that he would be interested in exporting cannabis internationally to countries where the plant is legal for both adult and medicinal use.
Exporting cannabis would only make sense since Colombia enjoys an exceptional cannabis-cultivating climate all year round. Cannabis exports are estimated to be worth over 150 million, exceeding processed fruits and vegetables and personal care products.
This kind of GDP influx could do incredible things for the Colombian economy and its people. With full legalization just around the corner, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Colombian cannabis reaching international markets. (Read more on local and international cannabis legalization here.)
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