Colombia's medical marijuana industry could become bigger than coffee and flower business

In the Andean hills of Antioquia, Colombia, greenhouses covered with white tarpaulin sheets dot the countryside. For now they are all used for growing flowers — but the soil here is being prepared for a more contentious crop.

“The medical marijuana industry can become bigger than coffee, bigger than flowers,” said a smiling Patricio Stocker, chief executive 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.”


Nobel Peace Prize Winner Says End The War On Drugs

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday, saying it helped his country achieve the "impossible dream" of ending a half-century-long civil war.

A smiling Santos received his Nobel diploma and gold medal at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, for his efforts to end a conflict that has killed 220,000 people and displaced 8 million.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there is one less war in the world, and it is the war in Colombia," the 65−year−old head of state said, referring to the historic peace deal this year with leftist rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.


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Marijuana Industry About to Go Global

Although the United Nations international drug treaties have upheld an official prohibition against marijuana, the marijuana industry has spread across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.


Colombia domestic sales of cocaine, marijuana worth $2 billion annually

Sales of illegal drugs inside Colombia were worth more than $2 billion (1.61 billion pounds) in 2015, the equivalent of 0.75 percent of gross domestic product, the government said on Wednesday.

There are at least 1.5 million consumers of cocaine, marijuana and synthetic drugs like ecstasy in the Andean country, the national planning agency said in a report, placing Colombia fourth in rates of drug addiction in South America.

Colombia is one of the world's top producers of cocaine, with the capacity to make 646 tonnes of the drug annually and more than 96,000 hectares devoted to cultivation of coca. Most of that is destined to be trafficked overseas. Authorities say marijuana growing is on the rise.


Colombia's clandestine cannabis growers keen to come out of the shadows

When night falls on this south-central Colombian town, the hills above light up like a Christmas tree. Clusters of white lights glow in the darkness, marking the crops that have made Corinto synonymous with Colombian marijuana.

Half of all Colombia’s cannabis production is concentrated in the northern part of Cauca province, and 50% of that is grown in Corinto alone. Police estimate 100 hectares of land in the municipality are dedicated to growing weed; local farmers reckon the real number could be twice that.


Poverty Could Hobble Colombia's Anti-drug Push After Peace Deal

Jose Toconas picks at branches hanging in rows from the roof of his marijuana drying house and smells their spiky flower buds.

In two days he will strip them from their stems, trim the dark green florets into neat little balls and hand them over to dealers working with Marxist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

"This doesn't make me a drug dealer. I'm a farmer," says Toconas, 45, who earns about 2 million pesos ($640) a month growing weed at his small mountain farm in Tacueyo, a hamlet in Colombia's southwestern Cauca province. "They come to my door, pay me and leave. If coffee or beans paid me more, I'd grow coffee or beans, but they don't."


Indigenous Farmers Set up Colombia's First Medical Marijuana Co-Op

A group of 53 farmers in Colombia have created the country’s first medical marijuana co-operative. Colombia recently became the fourth state in Latin America to legalise marijuana production for medicinal use. In an attempt to move away from illegal production, the country has started granting licences to pharmaceutical companies that want to cultivate the plant to generate marijuana derivate products.


Colombia's New, Legal Drug Barons Focus on Medical Marijuana

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.


Can You Really Tell the Difference Between Sativa and Indica?

As a rookie smoker years ago I probably couldn’t tell what type of strain I was smoking based on its smoke, appearance, or smell but with time I was able to determine the effects of the strains I obtained. The differences in strain appearance were always vivid with almost all strains showing plenty of sticky resin but the smell would always differ. It wasn’t until about a few years down into smoking medical marijuana I was able to tell the difference between sativa and indica strains. Also, with the introduction of “hybrid strains” the possibilities of effects are almost endless.


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