The multiple industrial applications and its great potential for medicinal and therapeutic use, make cannabis the new strategic bet for Cesar's economy.
The easy-to-adapt cultivation opens the way to a commercialization opportunity in international markets and several companies begin to facilitate the strengthening of this sector in this area of the Colombian Caribbean.
This is the case of the multinational Avida Global, a British company based in London, specialized in the production of pharmaceutical grade cannabis oils and extract, which opened operations in La Jagua de Ibirico, Centro del Cesar.
"There is a licensed crop in the rural area of this municipality, which the company has regulated in accordance with current legislation for the cannabis industry in Colombia, which allows it to cultivate and produce oils derived from this product," explained Carlos Orbegozo, Chief Operating Officer of Avida Global.
The multinational has an ambitious goal in this section of the country, which began in November 2018 with the sowing of half a hectare of this crop and aims to boost 40 more in the short term.
"In this business some companies think that planting more hectares produces higher quality oil, but no. We cultivate in a way in which we obtain exact batches of products that have the same high quality characteristics for medicinal, nutraceutical and cosmetic purposes," stressed the executive.
Focused on this productivity, 20 jobs have been created in La Jagua de Ibirico, with plans to increase this number to 500 in the next 24 months, as part of the commitment to develop local communities in cooperation with the National Learning Service (Sign).
"This territory has unique climatic zones that allow a good yield and production of cannabis. The job potential depends on the growth of the company and more people would be hired who have technical skills with the agricultural issue," Obregozo stressed.
Avida Global's operation in Colombia has the most advanced processes for the cultivation and production of cannabis and its derivatives, both in terms of environmental protection and sustainable development for the region.
According to information from the company, its presence in the country contributes to the development of Cesar, through technology transfer and new job opportunities.
"We hope that this sector will continue to develop in the country, as we have a high potential for the production of both cannabis-based supplies and medicines, as well as industrial hemp products," said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.
In the commitment to this type of business, the multinational has completed its first round of Series A financing for a value of 7,631 million pesos (1.6 million pounds sterling) with excess demand for participation, despite the complex context of covid-19. This capital increase is in addition to the £ 2.2 million obtained since its inception in 2018.
In the second round of funding, ongoing until the end of September 2020, Avida Global aims to raise an additional £ 1.4 million bringing the total amount raised to £ 3 million. Avida Global seeks to move to commercial production early next year.
"The great interest we have received from new and existing shareholders in the recent fundraiser shows strong support for our business strategy, our team and the strength of our cannabis production operation in Colombia," added David Kirby, Executive Director of Avida Global.
The foreign attraction is and will continue to be a pillar within Cesar's economic reactivation strategy to generate more employment and a better quality of life.
In this sense, the departmental government has contemplated the possibility of linking all national and international companies that want to participate in the cultivation of this alternative product, taking into account the profitability and sustainability of this crop for medicinal purposes, as long as they have The regulations and the permits regulated for this case have been approved.
"It becomes one of the alternative products to work on the economic reactivation since it contributes to the generation of employment, which is what we are betting on at the moment. We have a variety of climates in this territory and we are open to listening to your proposals," said the secretary of agriculture Wilson Solano.