Colombian President Signs Decree To Allow Dried Cannabis Flower Exports

The South American nation is seeking to cash in on dried cannabis exports.

Welcome to Four PM — a daily newsletter that provides cannabis industry news & insights from cannabis industry leaders.

Did you know that cannabis was the first product ever sold online? Well, in 1972 students from Stanford University in California sold cannabis to their MIT colleagues — making cannabis the very first product ever sold online.

In Today’s Issue 💬

→  Colombia’s Cannabis Exports.

→  Doug LaMalfa’s Dislike For Cannabis.

→  Charlotte's Web Sparks Controversy.

Colombia Removes Its Ban On Dried Cannabis Flower

Colombian President Ivan Duque removes a prohibition on companies exporting dried cannabis.

Last Friday, Colombia gave the green light for companies to begin exporting dried cannabis for the very first time.

As we highlighted in last Friday’s edition of Four PM, there’s a growing list of nations seeking to cash in on cannabis and Colombia is ready to remove the handcuffs Colombian cannabis producers face.

The What….

President Ivan Duque has signed a decree lifting the prohibition on companies exporting Colombian cannabis flower.

In an event organized at Clever Leaves — one of the 18 multinationals cannabis producers in Colombia, president Duque declared Colombia "is coming in as a major player in the international market" for cannabis.

The Why…

In 2016 Colombia legalized the production, distribution, commercialization, and export of cannabis seeds, cannabis plants, and value-added cannabis products such as oils, creams, and extracts for medicinal purposes.

That said, Colombia insisted on maintaining a ban on dried cannabis, however, in recognition of the fact that dried flower is the most sought after of all cannabis products they are reversing this decision.

The Opportunity?

Despite much of the innovations we are seeing in the development of new cannabis products, dried cannabis flower remains in high demand worldwide.

Colombia’s President emphasized dried flower "may represent 53 percent of this market worldwide".

Additionally, these new measures will allow companies to manufacture "non-psychoactive derivatives" from the cannabis plant such as CBD.

As such, in addition to exporting dried cannabis flower for the first time, Colombian cannabis companies can begin adding CBD to food, drinks, cosmetics, and every other product their imaginations will allow for.

Our Take

If Colombia wants to cash in on cannabis they would be wise to focus on its own domestic cannabis market as opposed to competing in the race to become a leader in the global cannabis supply chain that doesn’t yet exist in any meaningful way.

Ending Federal Protections For Cannabis?

Rep. Doug LaMalfa wants to end federal protections for states with medical cannabis programs.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis.

Today, California is the largest legal cannabis market in the world, generating some $4.4 billion USD in sales, however, one of their own is seeking to undo much of this progress that has been made.

Republican congressman Doug LaMalfa who represents Californians 1st district — a figure who has never been far from controversy is once again seeking out controversy, only this time he is taking aim at cannabis.

Last week, LaMalfa took to YouTube to share footage of him sitting on top of a bulldozer where he crushed cannabis plants stating “sometimes the best solution is large diesel-powered equipment”.

To build on this bizarre showing of force LaMalfa is now seeking to end federal protections in place for states with medical cannabis programs — including his own state of California.

Some Context

LaMalfa’s decision to seek out support to end federal protections for states with medical cannabis programs in place comes in light of a bill that is seeking to expand State’s existing protections.

Since 2014 the U.S government cannot use funds to target states with medical cannabis programs in place, however, a bill with bipartisan support wants to extend these protections to include adult-use programs.

Will It Pass?

Currently, the bill has 15 cosponsors and is being led by Earl Blumenauer (Democrat), Tom McClintock (Republican), Eleanor Holmes Norton (Democrat), and Barbara Lee (Democrat). 

A vote is expected to be on the House floor next week, and with the Democrats controlling the house in addition to having support from their republican counterparts — it seems very likely this bill won’t face any issues progressing through the House.

Our Take

Cannabis might be legal for medical purposes in 37 states and adult-use purposes in 18 states, however, for the foreseeable future the cannabis industry will continue to face some form of opposition.

That said, if the best opposition to the opponents of cannabis legalization is Doug LaMalfa — then we can rest easy at night knowing the days of cannabis remaining illegal are surely numbered.

Charlotte’s Web’s Controversial Marketing Campaign

Cannabis brand Charlotte’s Web's latest marketing campaign has the cannabis industry divided.

One of the biggest challenges legal cannabis companies face today is the inability to advertise their products online.

This problem largely stems from Facebook, Instagram & Google outright refusing to work with cannabis companies, and even the companies that are willing to work with legal cannabis companies such as Twitter, Snapchat & LinkedIn — do so in a very limited capacity.

As a result, cannabis brands have had to make a habit of thinking outside the traditional playbook used for building brand awareness, and Charlotte's Web — founded in 2013 is no stranger to this.

Reaching New Heights

In an attempt to highlight the usage of their CBD topical products by outdoor athletes, Charlotte’s Web is placing “CBD vending machines” in some rather unconventional locations. 👇🏽

The Goal? 🎯

“This time we took our mission to help passionate outdoor athletes.

While they already improve their lives by participating in something they love and are physically active in nature.

That doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from Charlotte’s Web.” — Andrew Lincoln, former Assoc. Director of Integrated Marketing @ Charlotte’s Web

Strong Pushback

In the days since Charlotte's Web announced this new campaign, many cannabis leaders have taken to both LinkedIn & Twitter to express their strong opposition to this rather bold marketing campaign.

To summarize the negative sentiment being expressed, many cannabis professionals have highlighted that these vending machines — regardless of what items they dispense, ultimately have no place in nature.

Our Take

I commend Charlottes Web’s willingness to break new ground when it comes to building brand awareness in unconventional ways, however, on this occasion, I feel as though they have missed the beat.

Charlotte’s Web has built an incredible brand up until this point, however, people head off into nature to get away from tech, not to be greeted by it.

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