Colombia Cannabis: Colombia Tries Again

On November 25, the Colombian Senate’s constitutional commission voted in favor a bill (Proyecto de Ley 189 de 2020 or PL 189-20) that would legalize recreational cannabis use in Colombia. Next, the measure will be put to the Senate at large, and if approved will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill “proposes the creation of a Colombian Institute for the Regulation of Cannabis, which would be in charge of regulating the entire process of recreational cannabis, from its cultivation to its distribution and consumption.” While ultimately it would be up to the regulator to determine if cannabis imports are allowed, the proposed statutory language envisions that possibility. Specifically, Article 22(3) stipulates that the packaging of imported products must include the country of origin and the phrase importado para Colombia.

Under PL 189-20’s provisions, there would be strict curbs on advertising of cannabis products. It would also require the imposition of a tax on cannabis, but “in a way that does not create incentives for users to turn to the black market” (Article 27).

Much of the impetus for the bill comes from a desire to deprive criminal organizations of the benefits of the cannabis

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