Medical Marijuana in Colombia

Updated on December 28, 2018.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

While Colombia decriminalized the possession of marijuana in 2012, it only legalized it for medical use in 2015. With the legalization of medical weed, patients in need can now access the medicine to help relieve pain and discomfort from several medical conditions.

Medical Marijuana Program in Colombia

A goal of the medical marijuana program in Colombia is to expand the role of medical cannabis in healthcare. With the legalization of medical weed, Colombia hopes to support research efforts into the medicine, as well as provide patients with a reliable and safe resource for their medication.

As Colombia develops its program, it’s setting specific guidelines and licensing producers. The government is also working to ensure physicians are educated about medical cannabis, from its uses for certain medical conditions to its potential side effects.

History of Medical Marijuana in Colombia

Colombia and cannabis have a history that goes back centuries. Back in the Colonial Period, people grew marijuana for the textile industry due to its industrial fibers. Although the Catholic Church and federal government both discouraged its use, people recognized its role as a medicine.

During the 20th century, cannabis trafficking was at its peak, being smuggled in and out of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Urabá peninsula region through banana shipments. While it’d be another 50 years before marijuana’s decriminalization in 2012, it took less than five years after that for it to be legalized.

Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Colombia

In Colombia, patients have the choice of growing their medical marijuana or purchasing it from a licensed producer — more than 10 are available today. If you cultivate cannabis plants for medical use, you may have as many as you like. When it comes to possessing medical marijuana, patients may carry as much medical weed as they need.

Telemedicine in Colombia

Telemedicine is a growing field in Colombia. In 2010, researchers found that more than 30 projects had been successful in implementing and offering telemedicine services to their communities. Through telemedicine, these facilities connected patients to more than 650 healthcare providers.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Colombia

While other countries, such as Canada, designate a set of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, the existing medical cannabis program in Colombia doesn’t make medical weed exclusive to people with select conditions. This is partially because recreational and medical marijuana are both legal.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Colombia

Colombia does not require patients to apply for a medical marijuana card. Instead, the country is focused on licensing producers and distributors to ensure every Colombian is using marijuana that’s safe and effective.

Facts About Medical Marijuana in Colombia

While the medical marijuana program in Colombia is still young, we already know a little bit about it:

  • Half of all recreational and medical cannabis farms call the Cauca province home.
  • More than 200 acres are used for growing recreational and medical marijuana in Corinto, Colombia.
  • About 400,000 Colombians have conditions that medical weed can treat.

Medical Marijuana Penalties in Colombia

Penalties for medical marijuana in Colombia are limited. The most significant repercussions are for unlicensed producers and recreational users. Carrying more than 20 grams of cannabis or growing more than 20 plants, for instance, is against the law for recreational users.

Get the Latest News on Medical Marijuana in Colombia

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Resources for Medical Marijuana Patients in Colombia