The week in Latin American cannabis: Blueberries signs with Argentinian firm, Mexico seeks opinions, and Colombian cannabis a boon for many
This week Blueberries Medical Corp. (CSE:BBM) (OTC:BBRRF), a Colombian medical cannabis company, announced a wide-reaching agreement to produce medical cannabis oil in Argentina.
Blueberries operates in the Bogotá savanna, a region west of Bogota with an average altitude of 8,000 feet at the Western edge of the Andes mountains.
The company already cultivates a 37-acre plot in Colombia and specializes in producing and distributing cannabis oil to Colombia and the global market.
In the new agreement, Argentina authorizes Blueberries to cultivate, process, manufacture, and export, and “other rights” as a partner to their state-owned company Cannava, Cannabis Avatara, S.E.
Argentina is a limited market. In a press release about the agreement, Blueberries’ Chief Operating Officer Camilo Villalba stated, “Working directly with state-owned Cannava is a privilege. We look forward to quickly scaling to meet the demand for premium medical grade cannabis and cannabis products in Argentina.”
Blueberries will provide seeds, funds for a processing center, and their expertise in the industry. They will receive land and permits from Cannava.
Blueberries’ stock is at a five year high, with a small dip in the last week, ending the day on Thursday at .70 CAD.
Mexican government seeks citizens opinion on recreational marijuana
Mexico’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana is still pending in the country’s legislature.
On March 25, Mexico’s Secretariat of Security and Protection of the Citizen released a poll on Twitter asking people to vote on the recreational use of cannabis as a means to gain the public's opinion about the legislation.
The Secretariat wrote the poll as a statement in which respondents completed the sentence: the use of marijuana for recreational purposes should be, legal or illegal.
The poll, whose life spanned 24 hours, received more than 86,000 votes with 81 percent of respondents indicating their preference that recreational marijuana should be legal in Mexico.
Participating in direct democracy is empowering. However, research warns that Twitter poll results might not be entirely accurate.
Amy Mitchell and Paul Hitlin, writers for The Pew Research Center, indicate that “The reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys.”
MediaShift, a media and technology blog, indicates that Twitter polls, “might be useful for entertainment and business, but when it comes to politics, it’s more complicated: Twitter polls are not scientific; they are not systematically conducted and therefore cannot represent public opinion."
How the government will use the poll data is unclear, but if they seek accurate knowledge of citizen’s views on the legislation, they should consider other more formal, poll options.
In Colombia, medical marijuana is a job boon for many
Colombia’s cannabis industry is expanding like no other. Companies flock to the land of 12-hour days, 12-hour nights, and strong equatorial sun. And with new companies, come new jobs.
Plantmedco, Medicinal Plants of Colombia S.A.S., a Colombian based cannabis firm, is one such company. They reported this week that their site in Quindio, a department in central Colombia spanning a small section of the Andes, could host up to 2,000 jobs.
The company claims the title as the first company to produce a 100 percent Colombian strain cannabis plant for medicinal purposes and has a mission to generate jobs and elevate leaders in the heart of Colombia.
Alberto Montoya, an executive for Plantmedco, informed Cronica Quindio, a local newspaper, “We decided a large part of our labor supply should be mother heads of household and cooperative agricultural associations.”
Colombia is known for its facilitatory regulations for cannabis firms. For Plantmedco, these regulations are the springboard to investments and jobs for Colombians.
Medical cannabis cultivation coming to Costa Rica
Costa Rican’s are permitted to cultivate marijuana for personal use, a court deemed in June of last year. Today, an industrial cultivation bill is moving through the legislature, which would allow industrial level medical cannabis cultivation.
Currently, there are no penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis or cultivation for personal use in Costa Rica. However, the substance is not legal either.
Sales of marijuana remain criminally punishable.
The PIN, a fringe party with nine seats across the Costa Rican legislature, proposed a bill this week called the Law of Production of Cannabis and Medicinal Cannabis that seeks to build a pharmaceutical cannabis industry in Costa Rica.
The bill calls for industrial cultivation and a 3 percent tax on exports of cannabis products.
If approved, the Ministry of Health would be responsible for building the deregulation policy.
As the legislation moves through the initial stages, PIN is aiming to pass the bill to the agriculture committee and then further it through various governmental institutions.