Ecuador is betting on the cannabis sativa market. Since the National Assembly decriminalized non-psychoactive cannabis with less than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on December 24th, 2019, some Ecuadorian flower companies have been the most interested and venture into this sector.
That is the case of Klaus Graetzer, Felipe Norton, and Alfredo López, three young entrepreneurs, partners in a local flower company, who are now betting on the production of hemp for different therapeutic, pharmacological, textile, and even cosmetic uses. But they have not yet defined the sector of their interest and for now, they have obtained the seven licenses granted by the Ministry of Agriculture of Ecuador, and are cultivating nine hectares of cannabis in the small town of Tabacundo, known in the country as the world capital of roses, 60 kilometers from Quito, the capital of the Andean country.
Tabacundo is located in the Ecuadorian highlands at 2,877 meters above sea level and enjoys a perfect spring climate for this activity, with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. CannAndes, the first company in the country to formally obtain all the official permits for the exploitation of this plant in Ecuador, was established here.
Read more about the legalization of cannabis in Ecuador and find the latest cannabis news with the Hemp.im mobile app.
The percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is what determines the psychoactivity of cannabis
In some countries, only cannabis plants below 0.3% or 0.2% of THC can be cultivated. In Ecuador, it is allowed to cultivate cannabis with 1% THC.. The psychoactive cannabinoid effect in human consumption refers to the capacity to influence the central nervous system and cause changes in mood, anxiety, stress, or modifications in cognitive processes. When the cannabinoid effect is psychotropic, it is understood that the effects in human consumption are equivalent to narcotic products.
This distinguishes hemp from marijuana. The former has no psychoactive or psychotropic effects and its uses include food, textile, and medicinal purposes. This is the bet that CannAndes is making in the search for a market where products from hemp or non-psychoactive cannabis can be offered, such as paper, biodiesel, hemp seeds, fabrics, and even nutritional supplements. The range is wide, according to experts.
For Hana Gabrielová Konopí, a researcher at the Department of Chemistry at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, hemp, and marijuana are cousins, from the same family, but they are different varieties of the same plant. Hemp has been around since the beginning of human history. Christopher Columbus would not have known America if he had not propelled his caravels with sails and ropes made of hemp. The Han dynasty of China in the 2nd century B.C. would not have communicated imperial edicts or expanded its borders so efficiently without the invention of paper from hemp.
Gabrielová assures that cannabidiol from low-THC hemp has proven to be effective in the treatment of some diseases as an antipsychotic, anxiolytic, antitumor, anticonvulsant, neuroprotective, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and even to reduce the appetite for heroin, cocaine, and alcohol, among others.
The partners of CannAndes in Ecuador have assured local media that it is still speculative to think about the possible profitability margins of their business venture. Although the Andean country is still behind Colombia and Uruguay, which are a few years ahead in the sector, cannabis already represents an opportunity for entrepreneurship and innovation.
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