Producing high quality cannabis in Colombia

A few kilometers away from Bogotá, in an industrial area of the Tocancipá municipality, Cudinamarca (Colombia), many entrepreneurs coming from Spain, Italy and Colombia are investing almost $ 12 million in a medical cannabis facility.

This operation is part of a sector which has been growing within the country and all over the world. There are other cannabis operations in Colombia aimed at extracting oil for a number of medicinal products. However, this company is different: the whole production process occurs indoors.

“These technologies and methodologies allow for monitoring and controlling plants in a very meticulous manner, like no other place in Latin America, and even in the world,” Borja Sanz de Madrid, Global Operations Director with Pideka, says.

Growing cannabis plants in such a highly controlled environment is one of the ways to obtain international certifications, such as the GMP. To achieve such a goal would mean an increase in the price of flowers and extracts, as they would be of a very high quality - other than easily traceable.


According to Sanz de Madrid, it is impossible to control variables such as temperature, lighting and humidity in a greenhouse. These are key factors to grow medicinal-grade cannabis.

Pideka’s partners want to produce an oil so pure as to convince laboratories to include it in their productions.

As the marketing of these medicines goes up, the demand will increase as well. Legalization processes are extremely helpful as new potential markets will gradually open up.

The business
The business model of Sanz de Madrid and his partner seems appealing. Every liter of high quality GMP cannabis extract has a market value of $ 25,000. From each liter, a wide array of products could be created such as inhalers, drops and so on. Therefore, Pideka’s industrial plan would generate almost $ 250,000 worth of end-products.

By looking at these promising figures, a question arises. Is the company making a profit in a sector that has been emerging only recently?

According to Sanz de Madrid, many signals coming from the international markets suggest that this business plan can work great. The company’s executive board indeed points out that many international companies and laboratories have expressed their interest for this ‘golden cannabis’.

During a tour in the Tocancipá-based facility, we could see that, more than a farm, it is actually a laboratory that follows the most demanding and advanced techniques of the pharmaceutical industry.

For instance, visitors and employees are carefully checked before entering the facility in order to prevent contamination-related risks. At the same time, the growth process of the cannabis plants involve machinery, lights, and a state-of-the-art air circulation and CO2 technology.

Italian expert Denis Contri, who is also a partner of the company, leads the production process of GMP-certified medical cannabis.

The scientist is constantly aware of every small detail of the processing plant and of the delicate and scrupulous work necessary to make the plants stronger and healthier.

“It is nice to produce products that will help people,” Contri says. He is also one of the few people in the world with the title of master grower, or of expert in the development of such a crop.

Pideka anticipates the production to commence in the following week, and to start exporting by the end of 2019. Then, the company’s business plan will be tested in the field.


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