Cannabis industry strengthens in Uruguay

Uruguay XXI participated in a key event for investors and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry and disseminated data on the growth of the sector.
Publication date: 03/12/2021

The investment, export and country image promotion agency, Uruguay XXI, participated in the Cannabis Business Hub B2B event, a reference event for investors and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.

This meeting was held within the framework of Expo Cannabis, which takes place from December 3 to 5. There, exhibitors, businessmen and investors, attended to make a market review and establish joint views for the future.

Alejandro Ortiz, a specialist in the pharmaceutical and Life Sciences sector of Uruguay XXI, highlighted the growing numbers of the sector in our country thanks to its good regulatory framework and export capacity.

"As regulations advance in other countries, Uruguay can find more business opportunities and develop foreign trade," he said.

Uruguay has one of the most developed cannabis cultures in the world, being a pioneer in the legislation of the plant for its various uses. Since 2013 it has regulated production, commercialization and consumption. It currently has 180 licenses granted and 46 under evaluation for cultivation, industrialization and research, which involves 195 companies operating at different stages of the chain. According to the Uruguay XXI specialist, new projects have recently emerged, such as extraction plants, which aim to advance in the chain with certification and pharmaceutical quality.

The sector generates more than 1,000 direct jobs and since 2019 began a stable export stream. In 2020, USD 7.5 million were exported and so far in 2021, USD 5.2. Among the exported products, high THC flowers for medicinal purposes, low THC flowers for non-medicinal purposes and, to a lesser extent, medicines and seeds stand out. There was also a drop in the average price of flowers for medicinal use, while the demand and price of flowers for non-medicinal use remained stable and the number of exporting companies increased.

Mercedes Ponce de León, director of Cannabis Buisness Hub, highlighted that, for the objectives they pursue as a platform that articulates relevant actors in the industry, Uruguay is the best place thanks to its regulatory framework and the feasible possibility of undertaking in the sector, as it achieves a good final product in its multiple niches of activity.

At the same time, he explained, the country's pioneering regulations allow it to have superior opportunities and establish export destinations quickly.

Thanks to the success of events like the current one, in July 2022, a key moment between planting and harvesting in the southern hemisphere, Cannabis Business Hub is planning a new meeting, this time focused on the medical cannabis industry.