Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 118

FEATURE LATIN AMERICA THE FUTURE CAPITAL OF THE CBD WORLD? FAVOURABLE LEGISLATION AND AN IDEAL CLIMATE FOR GROWING SOUTH OF THE BORDER COULD PUT NORTHERN COMPETITORS TO SHAME By Leo Forfar With CBD emerging as an international phenomenon and inspiring hurried, Gold Rush-like fervour amongst everyone from investors to retailers, there’s one massive region that’s become impossible for the vape and CBD companies to ignore. Central and South America appear to have all the key ingredients in abundance for a boom: land for production, increasingly relaxed laws for trade, people for creation and consumption, and most importantly, will. A prominent power player is Mexico, which is taking advantage of a recent series of legislative changes. Mexico legalised medical marijuana in June 2017, with all products available for purchase, personal use and distribution provided they were less than one percent THC. In November 2018, the country issued 38 distribution licenses to seven CBD companies, with 21 of them going to CBD Life. The press release revealed that the ruling would make 118 | VM21 “Cannabis products like hemp-derived CBD available on the shelves of general retailers across the nation. With 40,000 points of sale in its current distribution channels, CBD Life is set to immediately distribute to over 4,000 of Mexico’s top retailers and pharmacies.” Raul Elizalde, President of HempMeds Latin America said: “Cannabinoids with below one percent THC content can be in medicine, supplements, lotions, food, anything. This is very, very good for our country, and I think we’re one of the very first in the world to take that path.” Products are already diversifying. Rocky Mountain High Brands, a subsidiary of CBD Life, is now the sole provider of Mexico’s CBD-infused beverages. Countries striking out in CBD appear to be following a pattern beginning with marijuana legalisation for medicinal purposes, followed by recreational ones. They owe it to arable farming land. In February 2018, Colombian senator and pro-cannabis