Medical Marijuana Laws in Colombia

Updated on December 17, 2018.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

In many countries, medical marijuana laws are always evolving to meet the needs of patients. Whether you’re a patient or a caregiver, it’s essential to know the existing medical cannabis laws in Colombia to ensure you’re using and cultivating medical weed in a way that’s safe and legal.

How Medical Marijuana Laws in Colombia Influence Its Use

Until 2015, medical marijuana was illegal in Colombia. Its decriminalization in 2012 and subsequent legalization, however, has allowed it to grow and transition into a treatment option for patients — including those under the age of 18 — who are coping with seizures, epilepsy and other conditions.

While recreational and medical cannabis are both legal in Colombia, its recreational use has greater restrictions. Patients can carry as much medical weed and grow as many plants as they need to treat their condition.

How Medical Marijuana Laws in Colombia Affect the Medical Cannabis Program

In comparison to other countries where medical cannabis is legal, such as Canada, the laws for Colombia’s medical marijuana program are more lenient for patients and doctors, instead focusing more on the qualifications and licensing of producers.

To grow, cultivate, research or export medical weed, companies must receive a permit for each activity from the National Council of Narcotic Drugs (CNE) and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. More than 10 businesses have received licenses so far. Pharmacies in Colombia may only sell professionally processed medical marijuana, not fresh.

How Medical Marijuana Laws in Colombia Impact Criminalization

For decades, recreational and medical cannabis were considered a criminal offense in Colombia. In the 21st century, however, Colombia opted to change its laws for both medical and recreational marijuana by decriminalizing its possession.

Today, people can carry up to 20 grams of recreational weed and cultivate their own marijuana plants for personal use. If they carry more than this limit, they may receive treatment from officials, rather than fines or jail time. Medical patients don’t face the same possession and cultivation restrictions as recreational marijuana users.

How Medical Marijuana Laws in Colombia Limit the Medical Cannabis Program

One of the limitations of Colombia’s medical cannabis program is the forms of medical marijuana it permits for sale. In Colombia, pharmacies may only offer medical weed topicals, such as lotions and oils. For patients, this restricts how they may consume or administer medical cannabis.

Another limitation of the medical marijuana program in Colombia is that it doesn’t require doctors to undergo training to prescribe medical weed. As cannabis is a medicine, it’s essential for physicians to understand its side effects, benefits and uses before recommending it to a patient.

How Medical Marijuana Laws in Colombia Protect Patients and Doctors

Colombia’s medical marijuana laws protect patients and doctors. In Colombia, patients may carry as much medical weed as they need to treat their symptoms, and they can also cultivate as many plants as tuhey need to support their daily dosage.

Other countries where medical pot is legal, such as Canada, often place restrictions on a patient’s daily dosage and how much they can carry with them. States across the U.S. have similar laws in place, with some even preventing patients from cultivating medical cannabis altogether.

Learn More About Medical Marijuana Laws in Colombia

At, we’re passionate about keeping patients, their families, doctors, producers and dispensary owners up-to-date on the latest changes in medical marijuana laws in Colombia and beyond. When you’re looking for the newest developments in medical weed legislation, you can trust us to have the scoop.

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Resources for Medical Marijuana Patients in Colombia