Thanks to the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, cannabis has been a banned substance when it comes to international trade. Slowly, however, things are starting to change, especially when it comes to medical cannabis.
To date, 21 countries have legalized some form of cannabis, and many others are actively studying the effects of medical marijuana. Because of its illicit nature and the prohibition that has long hounded the plant, however, it is often hard to come by quality cannabis for legitimate research or studies.
In the US, for example, academic institutions that wish to study the effects of cannabis must turn to one provider which supplies the entire country’s studies with dried flower. Only recently did one institution—the University of California San Diego—manage to jump through enough hurdles and red tape to secure permission to import cannabis oil from Canadian company Tilray. This is despite the fact that medical cannabis has been legal in California for years.
But what happens when you just can’t cultivate enough cannabis to meet demand? Aside from studies, there are growing markets that are facing shortages because they don’t yet have the systems in place to cultivate cannabis at a large scale. What can these countries do to keep up with need?
Germany Starts a Trend?
It’s big news that Germany has authorized a medical cannabis shipment from Latin America. Only medical cannabis is legal in Germany, and researchers remain interested in determining its effectiveness in treating or managing different ailments (who isn’t?). With its first shipment of medical cannabis from Latin America, Germany hopes to test the reliability of its new partners and establish the feasibility of cannabis trade with Latin American countries.
Currently, the demand for medical cannabis in Germany is outstripping the country’s ability to cultivate the plant and process it. To meet this demand, the country is importing Canadian cannabis and, now, Latin American cannabis.
This isn’t just big news for Germany, though. This is the first time any European country has received approval to import Latin American cannabis. It’s possible that if things go well and European countries begin to legalize cannabis, they may turn to Latin American companies to supply the flower or cannabis oil in addition to Canada. Germany’s shipments are coming from Colombia and Uruguay, the first nation to legalize recreational cannabis use.
We believe that Latin America has plenty to offer when it comes to cannabis—as does Canada. Right now, only one Canadian company exports cannabis oil to Germany with other Canadian companies exporting dried flower. Because of the consistent quality and the strict Health Canada guidelines that licensed producers and extractors face in Canada, though, this may soon expand.
Will Other Countries Follow Suit?
While we certainly hope that this first export of Latin American cannabis to Europe will be the first of many, only time will tell. Part of the issue will certainly come down to geography and politics. By creating strong relationships with cannabis companies in places like Colombia and Uruguay, Germany and its European compatriots will likely be able to import quality cannabis that meets its testing requirements. However, other Latin American companies may not prove as reliable because of economic and political unrest.
On the other hand, Canadian medical cannabis companies have been cultivating and producing cannabis products to stringent rules for almost two decades. With a long history of satisfying Health Canada’s regulations, Canadian companies are well-suited to make further trade agreements in Germany and its European Union neighbors.
Europe’s medical marijuana is growing. To satisfy the demand, European countries must think outside their borders. With partnerships in both Colombia and Canada, we think NuSierra is well-suited to take advantage of this burgeoning market as trade restrictions ease.