While hemp is not a panacea for endemic poverty in Latin America & The Caribbean, the region’s climate, land mass and generally liberal policies toward cannabis signal vast potential for a thriving sector.
“The hemp industry is in line with sustainable business principles, providing economic, social and environmental benefits,” said Barbara Galletti, CEO of Pronatura Ltda., and co-creator of Nutranabis, the first Chilean brand dedicated to the re-introduction and commercialization of organic hemp products in Chile.
“These principles are essential not only to reduce poverty levels but also to promote social justice and a healthier planet,” Galletti said. “The hemp industry fits perfectly in this new business model.”
Galletti will talk about her odyssey through hemp in Chile at the Latin American & Caribbean Hemp Summit, Nov. 8-9 in Montevideo, Uruguay. The gathering of leading international hemp stakeholders is set for the Hyatt Centric Hotel in Montevideo.
Clearing a path
Governments across Latin American and Caribbean are steadily moving to decriminalize marijuana and other soft drugs, along the way further clearing the path for industrial hemp. Cultivation, production and distribution of hemp is legal throughout most of Latin America and the Caribbean, and a system of effective banking and regulation for trade is in place.
With liberal policies that allow access to cannabis for therapeutic uses, there is a wide berth for hemp extracts in Latin America, most importantly CBD. The total Latin American population of more than 650 million spends $354 billion on healthcare and $117 billion on pharmaceuticals, indicating dramatic potential.
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico all have passed medical cannabis laws.
Uruguay has perhaps set the best example, with enlightened laws that guide its cannabis and hemp markets from production to distribution to retail, while putting human rights at the center of the country’s strategy. Uruguay also pioneered the “full 1% THC” standard for industrial hemp. Ecuador followed this year.
Other enticements: Several Latin American countries are proven food growers and exporters, and many have climatic conditions conducive to growing three hemp crops per year.
The Summit will look at innovative developments spanning a wide range of sectors and issues, and feature country reports from leading Latin American and Caribbean markets.
Frank look at CBD markets
The critical and timely issue of what’s happening in the international CBD markets will highlight the Summit. With the opening of the U.S. market following passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, some have said a crash is inevitable. Yet other stakeholders have pushed back against that idea, noting crop failures will depress supply while supply chain development has significantly widened the pipeline to CBD consumers in the USA. Meanwhile, in Europe, CBD isolate suppliers say prices are tending drastically downward.
Other scheduled presentations will explore:
- The potential social & environmental impact of sustainable hemp and cannabis cultivation in Latin America
- International CBD and Industrial Hemp Seed
- A solar-powered hemp factory
- Innovations In Hemp-Derived Water Soluble CBD
- Hempcrete’s potential for carbon capture, for climate goals and business
- Technology for small and medium-size hemp farming
- Building integrated energy storage
- Drafting legislation and regulations for the hemp industry
- The status of international cannabis policy
Other speakers confirmed for the two-day Summit are:
- Sergio Vazquez Barrios, Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Uruguay
- Daniel Kruse, Hempro International GmbH & Co. KG; HempConsult GmbH, Germany
- Diego Bertone, Hemptech, Argentina
- Mike Leago, iHempX, High Grade Hemp Seeds, USA
- Leandro McMahon, Gmiracle SAS, Colombia
- Juan Mato Paredes, Orinoco Hemp, Colombia
- Dean Harris, TabBrands, USA
- Hana Gabrielova, Hempoint, Czech Republic
- Jose G. Ojeda, Octagon Consulting Group & Cruz Verde, Inc., Puerto Rico
- Raul Elizade, HempMeds, Mexico
- Pamela Bosch, Highland Hemp House, USA
- Heinrich Wieker, Henry’s HempHarvester, Germany
- Luke Dandrea, Clone Connect, USA
- Carl Martell, Advanced Hemp Technologies, Canada
- Jindrich Voboril, Cannabis policy expert, Czech Republic
- Kevin Nafte, YVY, Uruguay
- Barbara Galletti, Pronatura, Ltd. Chile
- Sanford Stein, Lowis & Gellen LLP; Cannabis Law LLC, USA
- Kehrt Reyher, HempToday, Poland
The main sponsor of the Latin American & Caribbean Hemp Summit is international advisor HempConsult GmbH & Co. KG, Germany. Other sponsors are Clone Connect, online hemp marketplace iHEMPx.com; and HGH, all of the USA; and mh Medical Hemp GmbH, Germany.