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June 2018

No. 001 Junio 2018No. 001

June 2018


Table of
4 5 6
News Round @ColCannIn
Contents Khiron Life Sciences Cleaver Leaves


Ripe to Reap
Despite a fractious election
campaign and strong differences
between the candidates,
Colombia’s nascent medical
marijuana industry looks set to
boom irrespective of the result.

C olombia enters a new era in 2018.

The country’s first new president
in eight years will inherit a post-conflict
nation and one that has recently
ascended to the OECD and become the
first Latin American member of NATO.
Ivan Duque (Left), Gustavo Petro (Right) Photo taken from Google
As it attempts to move firmly into the
ranks of upper middle-income countries, Images
already been pledged to the sector. sunlight and a range of altitudes and
Colombia faces a pressing challenge:
micro climates, Colombia has long been
providing jobs, investment and services
World Leader considered a perfect environment for
for post-peace development that could
While Canada remains the global cannabis cultivation. “The big advantage
cost anywhere from $30bn to $90bn
industry leader, Colombia has the is sunlight, which is key to raising
over the next decade.
potential to be a major player in the cannabinoid levels in the plant” Juan
The country also stands on the brink of
production and commercialization of Carlos Rey, who advises on marijuana
developing a new industry that could
medical marijuana. In January 2018, the licenses, told CCI. “Greenhouses are
play a growing role in this process.
International Narcotics Control Board not essential and harvests can also be
Medicinal marijuana has the potential
quickly rotated, making Colombia an
to provide foreign investment, export
excellent centre of low cost production.”
earnings, rural jobs and cheaper By May 2018 over 80 cultivation The country’s experience as a world
healthcare at a crucial juncture in the licenses had been approved – 31 class flower exporter also helps. “We
country’s history. for psychoactive cannabis and 43 can adapt the existing industry to serve
Following two years of discussions, in for non-psychoactive strains – and cannabis production, meaning we have
May 2016 congress passed Law 1787 a further 35 licenses had been good access to technology, qualified
with 83 votes in favour and 3 against. The approved for the processing of the personnel and providers,” Gustavo
law allows for the cultivation, processing plant. Escobar, CEO of Clever Leaves, a local
and export of medicinal marijuana
marijuana company, told CCI. “Overall
products and, while many of the finer
operational costs for cultivation could be
regulations have yet to be ironed out,
(INCB), the UN body that controls the 35% lower than in competitor countries.”
a number of local and international
global cultivation of medicinal narcotics,
companies have become the pioneers in
allotted Colombia 40.5 tonnes of Domestic Market
this exciting new segment. The law does
marijuana production, the largest quota Cost-competiveness could make
not legalize recreational use or permit
in the world and 44% of the total. The Colombia a big-hitter in the global export
the commercialization of the cannabis
US and Israel, the next largest, were market as soon as key destinations such
allotted 33.4 tonnes and 10.1 tonnes, as Canada and Germany clarify their
One local executive estimates that
respectively. stance on imported products. But in
upwards of $50m of investment has
With fertile soils, 12 hours of daily the meantime, the domestic medicinal

© 2018 Colombia Cannabis Investor Newsletter. All Rights Reserved. 1/6

June 2018
No. 001 Junio 2018

market holds excellent – and immediate has rejuvenated the Colombian left and Company List by License Distribution
– potential. spooked investors in the country’s oil Approved licenses
In 2015, a statutory law reform expanded and mining sectors. Despite the novelty National Scientific
Company Use Research Exports
access to healthcare to all Colombian and controversial nature of the cannabis
Pharmacielo Holdings* l l l
citizens. The obstacle, unsurprisingly, industry, however, executives remain Cannavida* l l l
is funding and the development confident that it will remain unaffected Ecomedics* l l l
of cheaper marijuana alternatives by the election result. Econnabis* l l
to existing opiate medicines seen “The right-wing is against recreational Cannalivio l l
favourably by the government. Khiron use, but Duque is in favour of new Pideka l l
Life Sciences, an integrated company business and he won’t stop the Khiron Colombia* l l l
Medicamentos de Cannabis (Medcann)* l l
backed by Canadian capital, estimates current process,” says Escobar. “Petro Cannabis Medicinal Colombia l l l
there are 5 million potential patients in is more liberal, there’s no real risk of Cannabis Medical Group l l
Colombia and has focussed its business expropriation and there is the potential Colombian Organics l l
development on educating local upside of recreational legalization. But Med Colombia l l
doctors. At present plants with THC we’re not thinking about that now, we’re Original Natural and Effective l l l
values of under 1% can be sold over the very much focussed on the medicinal
Santa Marta Golden Hemp* l l
Tailormed l l l
counter, while higher values require a market.” Pharmacol Cannabis l l
license from INVIMA, the country’s 4-tier Having passed congress and acquired Green Cannahealth l l l
food and drug licensing agency. the status of law, to repeal or modify the Biominerales Pharma l
“It’s great to have a cost advantage, law would require a concerted political Sativa Nativa l l
but my concern is whether that’s will that simply doesn’t exist. “Colombia Vital Green Products l l
sustainable in the long term,” Alvaro has strong institutions, and the law was
One World Pharma l l
Organic Sativa l l
Torres, Khiron’s CEO told CCI. “I find passed by 95% of congress,” says Torres. Inversiones Colcana l l
Colombia as a domestic market more “The country and the community are l l
Company Profile Nusierra Colombia

interesting because we don’t have supportive of this industry. It creates Biocannabis Life l l
to register patients. If we can make a jobs in the countryside, brings in FDI and Procanmed l
quality product here, it’s good for the – with growing formalisation – will help Colombian Cannabis SAS* l l l
Colombian industry as a whole.” reduce illegal cultivation.”
4Front Colombia l l
ICC International Cannabis Corp l l
Estado Verde l
Easy Run-off Ripe to reap Bionatural Solution l l l
Following the first round of presidential However, as with any industry built Greenfarma l l
elections held in late May, two on the back of regulatory change, Colmed Pharmaceuticals l l
contrasting candidates will face off on Colombia’s marijuana segment faces Wellness Farmacéutica l l l
17 June. The favourite, Ivan Duque, is a a number of future challenges and the
Lasanta l l
Pharma Dream l l
centre-right, pro-market candidate with early entrants have bound together to Cannabis Buen Destino l l
the formidable backing of Alvaro Uribe, form ASOCOLCANNA, the first cannabis Puriverde l l l
who was president from 2002 to 2010. business association. Uncertainties The Green Mile l l
The outsider is Gustavo Petro, the left- remain over the application of a cannabis
wing former mayor of Bogotá whose tax, the export process and intellectual
impressive performance in the campaign property issues. Sourcing domestic
financing, given the novelty and risk of
the sector, is also a pressing concern for
local growers and manufacturers.
Colombia Cannabis Investor was
established to shed light on and
bring clarity to the challenges and
opportunities presented by this new and
exciting market. Through interviews and
research with key government, private
sector and health care professionals our
monthly publication aims to become the
premium source of timely and accurate National Use, Exports
business intelligence for local and National use, scientific research and exports
National use
international investors. Exports

Public data retrieved from the Ministry of Health (May 2018)

*: Members of Asocolcanna

© 2018 Colombia Cannabis Investor Newsletter. All Rights Reserved. 2/6

No. 001 Junio 2018

The Path to Growth

Can be Confusing
Let Us Show You the Way
Colombia is set to become a major global provider of medicinal
marijuana products. There is strong government support for
an industry that has the potential to provide rural jobs and cut
domestic healthcare expenditure. But the nascent industry is
fraught with challenges and start-ups must account for regulatory
risks, access to finance and a morphing security situation.

Nostromo, publisher of Colombian Cannabis Investor, counts

with a team of experienced consultants and lawyers to help new
firms navigate these challenges. Contact us today to find out
how our team could help you build and grow your medicinal
marijuana company in Colombia.

© 2018 Colombia Cannabis Investor Newsletter. All Rights Reserved. 3/6
June 2018
No. 001 Junio 2018


The First to Enlist

CCI: In a nascent industry, how relationships, which to us are essential
did Khiron formulate its growth
strategy? CCI: What influenced the decision to
AT: When I first read about Colombia’s list on Khiron on the Toronto Venture
cannabis potential it occurred to me Exchange?
that the country is really good at making AT: Unfortunately, venture capital in
commoditized products - such as coffee, Colombia is many years behind. It’s an
bananas and oil - but we don’t make ongoing effort, you can´t just ask for
added-value products. My partner Andrés 2 million USD, you need more capital
Galofre used to be the general manager constantly to be ahead of the curve. We
for Advil, and had experience creating decided to go to Canada, where I had
added value for a commoditized product. some experience in my previous position
Cannabis is just like ibuprofen: anybody with SNC Lavalin. In May, we became
can produce it. How do you differentiate the first non-resource based Colombian
yourself? For us, it was about brand company to list on the Toronto Stock
creation in an industry in which you have Exchange (TSX). I spent the last 18
​​Photo provided by Khiron Life Sciences Corp. to educate doctors and patients. Every months travelling around Canada
month we host conferences to educate promoting Colombia and informing them
Alvaro Torres,
CEO, Khiron Life Sciences doctors on cannabis products. Today,
when people think about medicinal The firm maintains a strong focus
cannabis in Colombia, they think about on brand-building, the Colombian
Khiron. That’s exactly what we set out to domestic market and aggressive
In May, Khiron Life achieve. regional expansion with the goal
Sciences became the first
of reaching a million patients in
first Canadian cannabis CCI: What has been the response the coming five years.
company with core from doctors and what is the scale
operations in Colombia of opportunity in the Colombian
to list on any exchange market? that it isn’t the country they see in Narcos.
globally with their listing in AT: A couple of years ago, maybe one in It’s clear there is a huge opportunity. The
the TSX:V Ventures. five doctors would have been open to domestic Canadian cannabis market
prescribing cannabis products. However, is oversaturated and they’re looking
this is not because they weren’t open to internationally, some of them to Uruguay
the idea, they just had lots of questions but predominantly to Colombia. I think
about dosages and associated risks. we’ll see more Colombian companies
We have hosted 3 conferences, and listing on the TSX.
reached out to 2000 doctors so far. We
interviewed 200 Colombian doctors and CCI: What plans does the firm have
nearly four out of five said they could for the coming five years?
prescribe medicinal marijuana. They AT: It’s everything at once. We can’t
understand the risks of opiate addiction. afford to lose focus on any aspect of the
In comparison, no one has ever died of industry. We’re now working on getting
a cannabis overdose. The conferences our quotas from the government so we
have been a huge success, and medical know how much THC we can grow. We’re
associations have started to talk about also working on our facilities, developing
cannabis. Colombia has a population of our lab and having our own product
nearly 50 million people and around 5.6 on the market by the end of this year.
million patients who can benefit from Unfortunately, you can’t go one step at a
medical cannabis. We can have open time, so we’re already planning our move
conversations with doctors and patients, into Mexico where regulation is set to be
create loyalty and build lasting patient issued in the coming months.

© 2018 Colombia Cannabis Investor Newsletter. All Rights Reserved. 4/6

June 2018
No. 001 Junio 2018


Clever Leaves

15ha GAPC Compliant; Boyacá
GMP compliant 15m ml cannabis oil per
year capacity
HQ: Bogota
Photo taken from Clever Leaves official webpage.

Even the bold entrepreneurs who bought up the first wave of regulations specifics are still missing and developments are
Colombian cannabis licenses have been taken aback by the still in process”, says Escobar.
explosive growth and international interest in the medical
marijuana sector. Development
Gustavo Escobar, CEO of Clever Leaves, has 13 years prior By March 2018, the firm had built infrastructure to cultivate
experience in the Colombian healthcare sector, advising the first hectare, of 2018’s initial 5 hectares. Clever Leaves
insurance companies, IPSs and laboratories. “The scale of the continues in the gradual process of cultivating with research
opportunities in the medicinal sector is hard to comprehend. and commercialization purposes. The firm plans to produce
Its developing far faster than anyone imagined” he told CCI. cannabis from 100 hectares in the next five years and have
With connections in the regulatory arena, entrepreneurship decided to triple the original planned size of the laboratory.
incubators and some phytotherapeutical labs, Escobar was As other local players have found out, international investors
well placed to enter the marijuana industry in response to were very interested in a toehold in the market. “When we
regulatory changes beginning in 2015. The company’s set out our goal it was to create a minimum-viable product,
partners also had experience in the healthcare sector, and test the market and when the investor realizes the product is
Clever Leaves was able to strike up a partnership with good,then he invests,” says Escobar, “but in these business
Labfarve, a local laboratory specialized in phytotherapeutic models it works the other way around; investors value
medicine. Later, in 2016, following receipt of the license for companies pioneering the licensing processes and building
transformation of cannabis for medical and scientific grounds, initial operational basis with solid and experienced teams.”
Clever Leaves was officially born.
Research In 2017 the firm signed a deal with NYC based Northern Swan
The company began to investigate the adaptation of different venture capital group, with an investment ticket de inversion
plant varieties with thermic floors and the cannabinoid profile around 15MM U$. Escobar says his firm had received
development of the plant. Finally, they decided to establish anumber of proposals but recognized Northern Swan, a firm
the cultivation operation in Boyacá and the extraction and with significant overseas experience, as “the smart money”
formulation operation near Bogota. since it allows Clever Leaves to become part of a platform of
Since the definition of the initial business model, Clever Leaves companies focused in the cannabis industry at a global level
has focused on high quality products and prime materials that and thanks to the synergies it can bring in the future. Evidence
provide alternative solutions for patients suffering from diverse of the benefits came in March 2018, when Clever Leaves
pathologies and develop the medicinal cannabis market at a signed an agreement with Namaste Technologies to import
local and international level. product to Canada.
“You can’t just plant a large-scale production when

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June 2018
No. 001 Junio 2018

News Round
ed in the Toronto stock exchange, ex- biggest markets
Financial pects to enter the Colombian market in One week after listing in the TSX, Khiron
a strong position and continue its first- Life Sciences Corp. has announced its
PharmaCielo to raise 60 million USD class growth rates, evidenced by its mar- sponsorship of the Cannamexico World
with Private Placement of Subscrip- ket capitalization of 2.68 billion USD on Summit as their first step in entering the
tion Receipts in partnership with the TSX. 11.7 million patient Mexican market. In
AAJ International Cannabis Company the following months, Khiron expects to
PharmaCielo Ltd., the Canadian parent (TSX-V: ICC) expands to European open a Mexican subsidiary, subject to
company of Colombia’s major cannabis markets TSX approval, which will allow the com-
oil producer, appointed a syndicate of After starting works on a 124,000-sq. ft. pany to keep a competitive advantage
agents led by Echelon Wealth Partners greenhouse in a leased land near Bo- even before regulation is fully issued.
Inc., Cormark Securities Inc. and GMP Se- gotá, International Cannabis Company, Khiron has carefully studied the Mexi-
curities L.P. to sell subscription receipts fully licensed cannabis producer in Co- can market in terms of regulations and
of PharmaCielo in a private placement lombia, has recently signed a letter of in- market needs, and CEO Álvaro Torres
basis. The company expects to obtain tent for cannabis exports with CanPhar- has publicly stated the company “sees
gross proceeds of 60 million USD, at a ma, a licensed narcotics importer based an attractive opportunity to transfer the
3.35 USD price per subscription receipt. in Germany. ICC expects this exports wealth of knowledge we have created
agreement for cannabis-based medi- into this new market.”
Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB) and cine, as well as their recent acquisition of
MedReleaf Corp. (TSX: LEAF) join 25% of Spanish company Global Group
efforts to expand by signing an Ar- Kalapa S.L., will allow them to expand to-
rangement Agreement wards Europe. The company hopes the
Former Canadian competitors Aurora negotiation of THC products to be cul- Khiron (TSX-V: KHRN): the first
Cannabis and MedReleaf Corp. merged minated and signed by the second half cannabis producer in Colombia to
to become a global giant in the canna- of 2018, a challenge that is not stopping receive INVIMA approval for CBD
bis industry. Through the signed Ar- them from growing cross-borders. products
rangement Agreement, Aurora Cannabis After going public on TSX and announc-
bought MedReleaf Corp. for 2.900 mil- Khiron (TSX-V: KHRN): the first fully- ing a Latin American expansion, Khiron
lion USD worth in stocks, an operation licensed company listing in a highly received approval from INVIMA, the lev-
that promises to increase production quoted stock exchange. el 4 WHO drugs and food surveillance
capacity up to 570,000 kg of hemp, as On May 24th, Khiron Life Sciences, one entity, to produce, sale and export can-
well as expand from North America and of the first companies to acquire a full nabidiol (CBD) based products. This
Europe with currently 11 laboratories to cannabis cultivation and production li- approval will not only reassure Khiron’s
Australia and Latin America. cense in Colombia, announced its entry advantageous position in the medicinal
in the Toronto TSX Venture Exchange. cannabis industry, but will also allow
Aphria Inc. (TSX: AHP) seals supply The company expects to promote its them to fulfill their objective of launch-
deal with Colombian pharmaceuti- growth in Colombia and Latin Ameri- ing the first products by the fourth quar-
cal. ca after developing a strategic alliance ter of 2018, in a domestic market with an
Aphria Inc., a Canada-based pharma- with the Colombian Neurological Asso- estimated potential of 530 million USD a
ceutical producer of medicinal cannabis ciation, listing on the Toronto Stock Ex- year. Moreover, Khiron expects INVIMA’s
products, signed an exclusive supply change and acquiring a 7,500-sq. meter approval to have positive effects in for-
and distribution agreement in May with land ready for commercial cultivation. eign markets, given it has the same level
Colcanna SAS, a Colombian licensed WHO status as USA’s FDA and Canadian
trader for cannabis medicine. Via this Khiron (TSX-V: KHRN) begins Latin CFIA and Health Canada.
agreement, Aphria Inc., currently list- American expansion in one of the

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