The Cannabis Markets In Latin America: A Snapshot By Expert Analysts

Regulatory, economic and pandemic-related hurdles have held up Latin America’s success as a global exporter of cannabis.

In an enticing live panel, Cantor Fitzgerald Analyst Pablo Zuanic interviewed experts from the region in order to get a clear understanding of the current state of affairs.

“The trend is positive in the continent,” said Alfredo Pascual, Cannabis Analyst at MJ Business Daily. “But it’s just starting.”

Domestic Markets Are Off to a Slow Start

“I would start by saying that there is no developed market in Latin America as what you can see in the US or Canada,” said Pascual.

While many countries in Latin America have passed some kind of cannabis legislation, that hasn’t yet translated into active markets in the region. This is especially true for five of the six countries that make up 80% of the region’s GDP: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru. 

Colombia is the only example from that group where a domestic market is gaining momentum.

Brazil is the most significant market in the region, but merely for the size of its population, Pascual says. Most patients accessing cannabis in the Amazonian country today do it through a compassionate use act, with less than 20 thousand patients in the program, a very low number compared to the country’s 211 million inhabitants.

Mexico and Argentina could become major domestic markets, and both have passed positive legislation since  2017. However, laws were never implemented and very few patients today are accessing medical cannabis in those countries. 

Mexico is patiently waiting for its market to become regulated. Mexican companies expect Dec. 15 to be the final deadline where the Senate finally passes a long-awaited federal adult-use law.

Pascual thinks that the event could be pushed forward, since it has been delayed twice already in 2020.

In all markets except for Colombia, there’s rarely any patient access to THC-rich products, with CBD being the main ingredient in …

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