Luego de obtener las primeras licencias integrales para el cultivo de cannabis en el país, PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings anunció que su aliado Cooperativa Caucannabis recibió un permiso especial para el cultivo de cannabis psicoactivade parte del Ministerio de Justicia. Bajo este permiso, los 63 campesinos y productores que componen la empresa con sede en Cauca, empezarán a cultivar flores de cannabis para procesar extractos de aceite. Para Federico Cock-Correa, CEO de PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings, “este abordaje inclusivo que el gobierno asumió, es muy significante, ya que asegura que las comunidades indígenas que han cultivado antiguas cepas, puedan tener su debido lugar en la industria del cannabis”. El directivo aclaró, además, que bajo este anunció se da pie para que los indígenas y campesinos continúen reconstruyendo sus vidas y la productividad de las regiones.
Canadian companies hope to cultivate a medical marijuana juggernaut in Colombia by combining Toronto’s capital and technological expertise with the Latin American nation’s favorable climate and location. Industry executives said they plan to use Colombia as a springboard to serve Latin America’s 400-plus million people who live in nations where some form of marijuana is legal. When high-THC medical cannabis becomes available nationwide next year in Colombia, the country is poised to become the second-largest federally regulated MMJ market in the world – behind Germany. Industry sources estimate its potential market at 3 million-6 million patients. PharmaCielo, headquartered in Toronto, envisions Colombia being the world’s top producer of medical marijuana oil. Using Toronto as its international base, the company plans to produce a large amount of organic MMJ oil in Colombia for international distribution, ultimately targeting around two dozen countries. ...
Vice talks to the CEO of PharmaCielo, who appeared on this week's "Weediquette." ... Colombia is at a crossroads. In November 2016, the government signed a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), bringing an end to decades of conflict. ... In Cauca—a verdant, mountainous region in southwest Colombia—PharmaCielo hopes to create positive change. The Canadian Colombian company has roots in the flower business, but for the past four years, its CEO, Federico Cock-Correa, has worked closely with the government to develop laws that will pave the way for legal medicinal cannabis cultivation. Correa speaks of PharmaCielo with a humanitarian bent, focusing on the company’s desire to aid Cauca’s farmers toward a more stable life. He talks benevolently about “the wellness of the people,” and while speaking with VICE, he was preparing to fly to the Caucua town of Corinto after a mudslide caused three fatalities. He prioritizes building up the impoverished province. ...
El Gobierno concluyó el proceso de definición de las reglas para la producción, transformación y destinación del cannabis a fines médicos y científicos. Las resoluciones definen quiénes serán considerados pequeños y medianos cultivadores –y por tanto, obtener beneficios– y fijan los requisitos técnicos y las tarifas para el cultivo de la planta y su transformación en productos medicinales, fitoterapéuticos y homeopáticos. Tal como quedó establecido en la Resolución 579 de 2017, expedida por los ministerios de Salud, Justicia y Agricultura, aquellos que cultiven en una superficie de media hectárea (5.000 metros cuadrados) o menos son considerados pequeños y medianos cultivadores y, por tanto podrán acceder a asesoría técnica, asignación prioritaria de cupos y compra de su producción por parte del transformador. La normativa, en efecto establece que el 10% del total de la producción del transformador debe provenir de un pequeño y mediano productor. ...
En un paraje de Rionegro, en medio de extensos cultivos de crisantemos y orquídeas y luego de transitar por un camino empedrado con palmas y arbustos a lado y lado, se encuentra Pharmacielo. Se trata de una empresa que el pasado 27 de junio obtuvo la licencia para producir derivados de la marihuana. Con dicha licencia, esta empresa colombiana, con casa matriz en Canadá, podrá iniciar la transformación de la planta en extractos de aceite de cannabis medicinal, que después será utilizado por otras compañías para la producción de resinas, pomadas y todo tipo de medicamentos para el cáncer, la artritis o la epilepsia. Para hacer posible el procesamiento, aseguró el director ejecutivo de Pharmacielo, Federico Cock Correa, la empresa comenzará la adecuación de la fábrica de producción, la importación de maquinaria y nueva tecnología, así como la construcción de laboratorios de investigación y, a través de la Universidad de Antioquia, dará comienzo a pruebas piloto con un número limitado de especímenes.
In a July 13 story in Maclean’s, a Canadian national current affairs magazine, Brian Hutchinson, who spent time on the ground with PharmaCielo’s leadership team at the company’s operational headquarters in Rionegro, Colombia, writes, “The facility is Canadian-controlled, its Toronto-based parent company, PharmaCielo Ltd., run by a board of globe-trotting executives and investors, several of whom are from Big Tobacco and Pharma. But the heart of the operation is here in Colombia.” The government’s legalization of medicinal cannabis, he writes, means “Colombia is moving in step with other countries, recognizing that cannabis has medicinal and economic value, that it can be exploited and taxed just like any other commodity, such as cut flowers.” PharmaCielo Colombia COO Marcelo Siqueira explains, “The government believes Colombia has paid its price in blood and treasure with the war on drugs, that it’s time to move on.” The company has been granted a processing license and is now awaiting receipt of its cultivation permit. “Unlike other countries where dried marijuana flower is legally exchanged, Colombia has decided to allow only the sale of cannabis oil, for medicinal use inside the country, and for export to countries that allow it. [PharmaCielo’s crop] will be processed into oil, then shipped to markets inside the country and to legal markets around the world, including Canada.” PharmaCielo Ltd. president and CEO Patricio Stocker said the company plans to eventually produce cannabis from 1,000 hectares of Colombian farmland. To put this in perspective, MacLean’s notes that’s “enough to yield at least two million of kilograms of dried marijuana flower per year, and as much as 250,000 kilograms of oil,” and points out Colombia’s natural advantages for cannabis cultivation include a warm climate, abundant rainfall and 12 hours of daylight year-round. “Factor in low labour costs and the company figures it can produce dried flower at 10 cents a gram, one-tenth or better the cost of production in marijuana-friendly countries such as Canada, where plants are grown indoors – at great effort – by 50 federally-licensed companies for the legal medicinal market.” Siqueira adds: “The costs and the carbon footprint associated with cannabis production in Canada are absurd. It’s like growing coffee beans indoors. It can be done, but should it? Energy consumption, water diversion, pesticides, water contamination, these are already issues.”
With the appointment of PharmaCielo Ltd. Chairman Simon Langelier as a non-executive director, “Imperial Brands Plc gained the services of a leader in the field of medicinal cannabis as the British tobacco manufacturer seeks to further its push beyond cigarettes,” writes Bloomberg. Langelier joined PharmaCielo in 2015 after a 30-year career at Philip Morris International, which included heading up the next-generation products unit from 2007-2010. During that period he established a joint venture for the worldwide commercialization of Philip Morris’s smoke-free products. Bloomberg notes Langelier’s experience at PharmaCielo will be beneficial should Imperial choose to enter a future federally legal US cannabis market, which is projected to surpass $50 billion in sales this decade.
Pharmacielo es una curiosa compañía canadiense con operaciones en Colombia que tiene entre sus mayores accionistas a dos exejecutivos de Philip Morris. Esta compañía se va a especializar en extraer aceites medicinales del cannabis y tendrán dos centros de operación: uno en Rionegro, Antioquia, y el otro en Cauca. Al mando de Pharmacielo están Juan Manuel Ruiz y Simon Langelier.
El Ministerio de Salud estableció las reglas para los cultivadores y comercializadores. El autor del proyecto del uso de la marihuana con fines medicinales, el senador Juan Manuel Galán, explicó que a través del cuerpo médico, los pacientes que sufren de dolores crónicos o diferentes patologías deben informarse “no crean que el cannabis es igual para todas las enfermedades”. Hizo un llamado para que los médicos del país realicen una guía frente a estos productos y para que están recomendados, “que sirvan de información para sus pacientes”. Dijo que es importante que los pacientes no se auto mediquen.
Colombia’s cannabis business was long overseen by the country’s largest rebel group, which dominated this region of Cauca, taxed its drugs and became internationally notorious for trafficking in billions of dollars in illicit substances. But when the government signed a peace deal with the fighters last year, the state swept in and reclaimed this remote mountain village, threatening to end the trade. But now, local citizens have an unlikely option: growing marijuana with the government’s blessing instead. A Canadian company called PharmaCielo, with the government’s approval, is working to produce the drug legally in Colombia and is looking to hire. It is an unorthodox experiment by Colombia, one that underscores the region’s changing attitudes toward drugs after decades of fighting them. In the coming weeks, the government says, it will begin processing licenses for a small number of companies, including PharmaCielo, under a 2015 law that allows the cultivation of medical marijuana. Rarely has a country taken an illegal drug overseen by a criminal organization and tried to replace it with the same crop produced legally, sold by corporations. “Here we have an entirely new opportunity,” said Alejandro Gaviria, Colombia’s health minister, whose agency is issuing the licenses. He argues legal drugs could become an important economic tool for postconflict Colombia. Federico Cock-Correa, who heads up PharmaCielo’s Colombia subsidiary and promises to pay his growers far more than what they earned during the war, said government officials were fascinated by the idea of using legal, medical cannabis as a tool for development once the rebels were out of the picture. The 2015 law allows medical marijuana cultivation for the domestic market and the export of medical marijuana products like oils and creams.
In Colombia … “The medical marijuana industry can become bigger than coffee, bigger than flowers,” said Patricio Stocker, CEO of PharmaCielo, the first company licensed to roll out production of medical marijuana in Colombia. “Our aim is to help the most [troubled] regions in the country [as] Colombia is getting out of a war and getting into a peace process,” he said. “It is not just developing the cannabis business. This will help generate funds to develop other businesses. Politicians and local communities want to develop the region and cannabis, combined with other agricultural activity, will take them out of poverty.”
Like many drug barons in Colombia, Federico Cock-Correa wants to sell his product globally. Just 15 miles outside Medellín, Mr. Cock-Correa is looking to replace vast acres of flowers with marijuana plants, with plans to export the harvest. But unlike the brutal heroin and cocaine trade that once flourished nearby, his operation has the government’s stamp of approval.
Jim Rogers, who retired from the Quantum Fund, cofounded with George Soros, at age 37 and is well known for his insight into commodity markets, seems pretty bearish these days on almost everything, but one commodity he likes is cannabis, especially that which will be grown in Colombia. According to the New York Times, Rogers is an investor in PharmaCielo, a Canadian company we have featured several times over the past few months that is developing an export business in the Rionegro region. He also serves as an advisor.
As Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed into law on July 8 the scientific and medical use of marijuana, it offers new prospects for turning illegal drugs into positive uses. This law, first drafted in 2014, met with strict opposition from conservative political forces, before Santos approved it, stating it was part of a new strategy to deal differently with the war on drugs in the country. Colombia has strict rules concerning the production, sale, import and export, transportation or use of the seeds of marijuana.