ExpoBogota Cannabis took place on November 15th, 16th and 17th in the capital of Colombia. In attendance were a wide array of speakers ranging from master growers and extraction specialists to doctors and scientists all working tirelessly in the field of cannabis.
Some of our consultants were at the event representing Conhintec Labs (a cannabis analysis lab opening in Medellin Colombia in 2019). Conhintec Labs was a sponsor of the event and NRS organized speakers from the US to present at ExpoBogota on Conhintec’s behalf who were able to give a thorough overview of the cannabis analysis trials and tribulations throughout Colorado and the country.
Among the speakers that NRS facilitated were Heather Krug, and Stephen Goldman (pictured above); Krug, the Manager of the State Marijuana Laboratory Science Program for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment spoke about how Colorado has progressed with regulation and testing. The program that she manages is a leader in the country and she offered invaluable insight into the how regulation progressed and the successes that they have had by implementing this program at the state level. Next, Stephen Goldman, of PhytaTech/Evio Labs Colorado, spoke about the value in testing cannabis products for public health and safety. The amount of contaminated materials entering public hands was greatly reduced as more regulations were added and enforced around testing in the US. This is one of the most important parts of regulation and coming from Colorado (the first state nationwide to legalize and regulate cannabis), these experts have invaluable information to lend to Latin American countries who are finalizing their own regulations.
In Colombia, NRS has seen the market mature greatly in the past year with licensees now recognizing the benefits of quality control. Although the government is not yet requiring traceability or independent 3rd party analysis like in the US, Canada and, soon, Mexico- licensees in Colombia are seeing the benefits of implementing testing themselves and are seeking services for this quality control. Beyond the obvious public health concerns which warrant this type of testing, analysis is also advantageous to companies who are looking to have an edge in this market. Offering certificates of analysis and showing due diligence to customers when it comes to materials whether it is flower, extracts, or final products will set those producers apart from competitors. In addition, testing with an ISO-17025 accredited lab, like Conhintec Labs, will give those companies the ability to export their products to the world.
At ExpoBogota Cannabis, our consultants met many license holders around Cundinamarca and while there are many companies who have been working for the past two years since legalization to prepare their companies for export, we also met many individuals who were just exploring getting into the industry. We were able to delve into not only the topics of cultivation and fabrication but also the gaps in ancillary services that we see here in Colombia.
NRS is still seeing great opportunity in Colombia and were happy to touch base with hundreds of individuals who are already invested in or who are interested in the Colombian cannabis market. We are already looking forward to ExpoBogota 2019.