Colombia has the perfect climate, landscape and geography to cultivate weed , not to mention its year-round, near-the-equator growing season.
After signing a peace deal with the countryas rebels-turned-drug-traffickers, thus ending a 50 -year conflict, then kindly requesting that the United States stop spraying their coca and poppy fields, the Colombian government has a plan.
Having legalized medical marijuana ,~ ATAGEND the Health Ministry is working with a Canadian-based company to grow weed in areas once controlled by the rebels, known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia( FARC ).
PharmaCielo, are stationed in Toronto, is the first company in Colombia to receive a license from the government to fabricate cannabis products.
Colombia, which has received over $ 9 billion dollarsA in U.S. aid to eradicate the drug trading in the past two decades, will begin processing licenses for a small number of companies, including PharmaCielo.
According to its website, PharmaCielo is preparing to grow and process large volumes of premium cannabis into MMJ oil extracts and related products.
PharmaCieloas directors include former executives from Philip Morris and Bayer, the corporate likes of who are not able to bode well for small farmers who dread get pushed out by large companies.
The Colombian government says small farmers have nothing to fear.
aColombia may be the winner of this emerging market of medicinal marijuana, a said Alejandro Gaviria Uribe, Colombiaas health minister. aThis will result in more employment opportunities in our country and greater prosperity for the communities and municipalities where this industry is situated.a
A New York Times report from Corinto, in the southwestern Cauca region, a weed-growing area that still has problems with paramilitaries bumping off human rights employees, included interviews from locals as well as PharmaCielo directors.
aThe peasants were forced to produce these plants, a says Federico Cock-Correa, head of the Colombian subsidiary of PharmaCielo, who promises to pay his growers far more than what they earned during the war.
PharmaCieloas Colombian headquarters are located on the farmlands outside of MedellAn, Pablo Escobaras former stomping grounds.
Cock-Correa told the NY Times that heas new to the weed business. He constructed his career growing and exporting chrysanthemums to the United States, which he says is similar to growing weed.
While presenting the NY Times the vast greenhouses ready to be used by PharmaCielo, the chrysanthemum king said the Colombian government will continue to eradicate coca leaves and marijuana grown in violation of the new law.
In visits to other areas of the country, the NY Times met people who were skeptical about the government and big business telling them how and how much weed to grow on their own private or communal land.
aWhatas important here is we donat run 500 years backward to the times where indigenous people were working for outsiders and marginalized, a said one man from Corinto, where two-thirds of the townas 32,000 people rely on cannabis cultivation for a living.
Colombian SenatorA JorgeA IvA! n Ospina, from the Green Alliance, constructed a video published byA El Espectador in which he calls on the Healthy Ministry to grant licenses to farmers in the Corinto region who have been growing weed for many years rather than to a Canadian company.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana newsA right here .