The cannabis industry continues to grow and will extend to a whole supply of cosmetic and food products, no longer limiting itself to medicinal uses.
After several years of lobbying efforts, Colombia is breaking the taboo on medical cannabis use, which is regulated in more than 49 countries around the world. According to Euromonitor International, a strategic market provider, the legal cannabis industry is expected to grow 77% by 2025 with expected sales exceeding 160 billion US dollars. These predictions are based on the plant’s shift from being exclusively used as medicine to becoming the star ingredient of an array of products, including beauty products, beverages and food items. Plena Global, a Canadian company with a presence in Colombia and Peru through its subsidiaries Econnabis S.A.S. and Plena Global Perú, respectively, is dedicated to the cultivation of high-quality medical-grade cannabis and is ensuring that cannabis is ready to break into virtually every consumer industry. “We are dedicated to producing a consistent and reliable global supply chain, so that our customers have the commercial certainty that is required to meet the demands of their patients,” says Richard Zwicky, executive director of Plena Global.
Although the primary interest of this company is the medicinal use of the plant, it acknowledges the potential that its use has in other large industries. To meet the demand of these industries, they bet on cultivation in strategic countries, like Colombia, to ensure the best growth and quality conditions that lead them to position themselves as a reliable B2B cannabis supply partner for licensed producers, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and other companies. “Colombia not only has an ideal geographic location for low-cost cultivation of the plant; It has a regulation based on traceability and control, which allows for transparency throughout the process. Ultimately, this is the reliability that we have to ensure as a country,” says Mauricio Krausz, director of Regulatory Affairs.
To further understand the possibilities offered by this plant, you have to know what its components are and what they are good for. All cannabis plants contain cannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system of the human body. There are more than 100 different cannabinoids, of which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive substance, and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most known. THC is a psychoactive ingredient and, therefore, its application is restricted to medical use for certain cases or completely prohibited. CBD is used as a medicinal ingredient for anxiety relief, pain relief, nausea relief, and as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. CBD is currently the functional ingredient of choice: it is not psychoactive, and its benefits cover more than the pharmaceutical industry. Named the new superhero ingredient in beauty products, it is promoted as an antioxidant, balancer and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Increasingly, CBD infused products are widely prevalent in skin care, toiletries and cosmetics and pet products. Brands that operate in the therapeutic and dermo-cosmetic space will join holistic beauty trends aligned with health. On the other hand, according to studies by Euromonitor International, in the next two years, sales of packaged foods containing CBD will double as consumers’ awareness of its benefits increase. This will lead to the market expanding to the production of cannabis foods such as soups, pasta, pastry ingredients, drinks, and others. With this in mind, companies like Plena Global are preparing to react to the request for high-quality cannabis that markets will demand.