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Is Weed Legal in Colombia? (April 2024)

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Yes, cannabis is legal for medical and scientific purposes in Colombia. In 2016, Colombia legalized the cultivation, production, sale, and export of medical cannabis products. The country has established a comprehensive regulatory framework for the cultivation, processing, and distribution of medical cannabis. Colombia is known for its favorable climate and ideal growing conditions, which has attracted significant investment in the cannabis industry.

About Colombia

Colombia, nicknamed the gateway to South America,  is the fifth largest country in Latin America and is located at the tip of South America. It is home to the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the entire world. Colombia is one of the world's most biodiverse countries. It is home to a vast array of plant and animal species, with the highest number of bird species in the world. The country has a rich musical heritage, and salsa music holds a special place in the country's culture.

Medical Cannabis in Colombia

In 1986, medical cannabis was legalized in Colombia, but its legal status remained uncertain until 2015 when the government introduced a decree to establish regulations for the cultivation, sale, and medical usage of the plant. Presently, patients are able to obtain cannabis products by obtaining a prescription from a doctor.

Access to medical cannabis is primarily limited to pharmaceutical products; however, patients also have the option to grow their own plants if they prefer to utilize the raw material. It's important to note that this personal consumption option strictly prohibits any processing or commercialization of the cannabis plants.

Nevertheless, it can prove challenging to locate a doctor who is willing to prescribe cannabis treatments or find a clinic that can fulfill such prescriptions. As of 2020, there were only approximately 3,000 registered patients, and a few clinics available to cater to their needs.

Is Cannabis Decriminalized in Colombia?

In Colombia, personal consumption and possession of cannabis have been decriminalized. Individuals are allowed to possess up to 20 grams of cannabis, cultivate up to 20 plants for personal use, and consume cannabis in public settings. However, selling or purchasing cannabis remains illegal. It is worth noting that Colombia established a medical cannabis program in 2015, which operates separately from the decriminalization of personal use and possession.

Is Recreational Cannabis Legal in Colombia?

No, recreational cannabis remains illegal in Colombia. Possessing quantities above 20 grams can be deemed as drug trafficking, carrying severe penalties that include lengthy imprisonment. Furthermore, engaging in any form of “commercial” cultivation, sale, or export of cannabis is strictly prohibited by law and can lead to prosecution.

 Is Hemp Legal in Colombia?

Hemp cultivation and production are legal in Colombia. In 2017, Colombia implemented regulations to allow the cultivation, processing, and commercialization of hemp and hemp-derived products. Hemp is defined as cannabis with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of less than 1% and is primarily cultivated for industrial purposes, including the production of fiber, textiles, paper, and CBD (cannabidiol) extracts.

According to the regulations, both THC and CBD are allowed for specific purposes. THC is exclusively permitted as an active ingredient in pharmaceutical products, while CBD can be utilized as an active ingredient in cosmetics, dietary supplements, and pharmaceutical products. These guidelines distinguish the permitted applications of THC and CBD in Colombia.

Is CBD Legal in Colombia?

Yes, CBD (cannabidiol) is legal in Colombia. The country allows the use of CBD as an active ingredient in various products, including cosmetics, dietary supplements, and pharmaceutical products. CBD is derived from hemp, which is legal to cultivate and process in Colombia as long as it contains less than 1% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The regulations in Colombia provide for the legal use of CBD in different industries, subject to compliance with the specific regulations and requirements outlined by the authorities.

Can I Grow Weed at Home in Colombia?

Yes, according to Colombian law, you are allowed to cultivate cannabis for personal use in your own home. The law permits individuals to grow up to 20 cannabis plants for personal consumption. However, it's important to note that the cultivation must be strictly for personal use and not for commercial purposes. Selling or distributing cannabis is still illegal and can lead to legal consequences. It's always advisable to stay updated on the current laws and regulations related to cannabis cultivation in Colombia, as they can evolve over time.

Will Colombia Legalize Weed?

Yes, it is highly likely that the Colombian government will legalize weed fully in 2023.  In December 2022, the Colombian senate passed a bill to legalize marijuana nationwide. During the fourth round of debate on Tuesday, the bill was approved by an overwhelming vote of 56-3 on the Senate floor. This demonstrates the growing momentum and consensus surrounding the potential legalization of marijuana in Colombia.