Hemp is emphasized in drive for diversification of cannabis in Colombia

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The Colombian government said it will invest five billion Colombian pesos ($1.3 million) to promote the production of marijuana and hemp, according to an announcement this week.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MINCIT) said the goal is to advance the development of agricultural bio-inputs for cosmetics, textiles, packaging, construction materials, veterinary products, food and drinks, and medicinal products.

“We seek to take advantage of these opportunities in line with our commitment to agro-industry and the diversification of the productive matrix in the territories, part of the re-industrialization policy that we have underway in the government,” said MINCIT Minister Germán Umaña.

Facilitators identified

Umaña said that more than 200 public and private entities have been identified that can help transform the marijuana and hemp industries to stimulate social, economic, scientific and technological development.

The lead entity on the government initiative is Biointropic, a private company that develops biotechnology and biodiversity projects. Biointropic partners with the EAFIT University, the National University of Colombia at Medellín, the University of Medellín, EIA University, CES University, Ecoflora Agro, Ecoflora Cares and Superbac de Brazil. Biointropic, which started in 2014, later established the Biotechnology Business Center in Colombia and the first Innovation Center in focused on ​​biotechnology

Funding for 30 projects

The budget includes 2.25 million pesos (~$600,000) for at least 30 projects. Eligible projects can be prototype and product development efforts, pre-commercial validations, processes aimed at greater sustainability and efficiency, effectiveness studies and agricultural technology packages, MINCIT said.

The initiative will also train 3,000 workers in hemp applications, markets, new business models, financial instruments and sustainability, and provide sector analysis and intelligence including updated status reports, growth projections, trends, best practices and success stories. Business events are also planned to generate high-value contacts and foster relationships among industry players.


Colombia was among the first countries in the world to begin regulating and developing local industries based on cannabis production. That brought foreign investment into the medicinal and pharmaceutical industries. Colombian stakeholders hope hemp can follow a similar path.

Colombia set a unique two-tier system for maximum THC levels in industrial hemp when it rolled out regulations in 2021, making it possible to process all parts of the hemp plant at maximum efficiency. The rules set the THC limit for grain and fiber production at 0.3%, but allow for 1.0% THC in the production of flowers. The higher limit for hemp flowers can facilitate Colombia’s CBD sector because CBD in hemp plants rises in proportion to THC.

According to the Colombian Ministry of Justice, more than 57,000 hectares are under legal cannabis crops, and more than 3,000 licensees are active for farming and production. Some projections estimate that the cannabis industries could generate up to 44,000 jobs in the country by 2030, the commerce ministry said.

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