Cannabis firms catch a whiff of opportunity in Brazil

International cannabis companies are showing interest in Brazil, both its large consumer market for medicinal products and a proposal that could legalize planting of the crop.

Major producers like Colombia's Clever Leaves (CLVR.O) and Canada's Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) are developing and selling medicinal cannabis products to a Brazilian consumer segment estimated at 10 million to 13 million people. This results from a 2019 regulatory change allowing the import, sale and manufacturing of such products.

But permission for cultivation of hemp and cannabis in Brazil would be a bigger prize. If granted, the industry could blossom in four to five years, based on the experience of other countries such as Colombia.

"By 2025, I would like to be planting hemp in the interior of Pernambuco," said José Bacellar, founder of Canada's VerdeMed, referring to a northeastern state known for illegal marijuana growing.

A proposal that would legalize cultivation was approved in June by a congressional committee. Lawmakers are weighing if it could be fast-tracked to the Senate for approval. If passed there, President Jair Bolsonaro would have to sign it into law.

Read more at reuters.com


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