3 Ways Itoco Is Environmentally-Friendly CBD Medical Cannabis
Colombia has quota for over 40% of the world’s cannabis production. The country grew over 40 tons of cannabis in 2018 alone and due to the country’s unique licencing system, which allows for companies to both cultivate and sell cannabis plants from seed to stem, Colombia’s legal cannabis market is expected to grow to contribute to the estimated $22 billion the global CBD medical cannabis industry will be worth by 2022.
The world has woken up to the potential of CBD medical cannabis, but it has also begun to seriously question the environmental impact of all forms of industry- including agriculture. Itoco, a Canadian company which has recently acquired a facility of a total of 18 hectares in Cachipai, Colombia, is set on becoming not just a world leader in CBD medical cannabis production, but an environmentally friendly one, too.
Good Manufacturing Practices
Itoco processing facilities are designed to fulfill all Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standard, ensuring consistently high quality. According to the Government of Canada, “Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are the part of quality assurance that ensures that drugs are consistently produced and controlled in such a way to meet the quality standards appropriate to their intended use, as required by the marketing authorization.” While not currently a requirement, meeting GMP standards is expected to become necessary for exporting cannabis to European markets.
These standards ensure that the quality of the product being made at Itoco‘s Cachipai facility will be of the highest grade for distribution worldwide. One of the purposes of GMP is to ensure all facilities are held to a modern standard: that includes environmentally conscious factors such as electrical efficiency, waste management like recycling, and minimizing the use of water.
Despite the mountainous landscape, agriculture is extremely easy in Colombia due to its exceptional tropical climate. That’s why the region including Colombia has been fertile farmland for thousands of years, producing everything from maize to avocados to cotton. The rough Colombian terrain necessitates the construction of terraces which have transformed the Andean landscape.
This climate makes Colombia an ideal place for cannabis cultivation. Colombia receives 12 full hours of sunlight a day, every day, allowing for 4 harvests a year- something that is not possible in regions with more varied seasons. This abundance of sunlight means the Itoco facility won’t strain the local power grid with unnecessary artificial light. Of an additional benefit is the use of open-air greenhouse propagation, which enables plant cultivation to benefit the environment by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and releasing large amounts of oxygen back. There are several additional benefits to open-air greenhouses, like lower operational costs and moisture control.
Itoco has an 18-hectare facility, but only 5 of those hectares are owned by the company. The other 13 have been secured in agreements with local farmers. Itoco’s nursery and propagation centre lie at the core of a network of cultivation and harvest farms run by local partner farmers. These local cultivators understand their climate, terrain, and the idiosyncrasies of Colombian farming better than anyone, and fulfill Itoco’s pledge that only the best people are hired to do the jobs that need to be done.
Itoco is dedicated to being a boon to the community, not a drain. As such, Itoco does not rely on public supplies for irrigation at any of their growing sites. Every cultivation location is equipped with natural water reservoirs that consistently supply natural rainwater throughout the year.
A Massive, but Responsible, Opportunity
Colombia legalized cannabis in 2016 and, since then, the CBD medical cannabis market in the country has exploded. The country has, to date, issued over 140 licences to cultivate cannabis and nearby countries, like Mexico and Brazil, are eagerly accepting cannabis exported from Colombia as their own laws struggle to catch up with the colossal demand. Recreational cannabis aside, the CBD medical cannabis market is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022, ushering in a new era in pharmaceutical dominance that could well be presided over by Latin American countries like Colombia.
As the world enters the third decade of the 21st Century, climate change and the impact of manufacturing on climate is paramount to a sustainable future. Cannabis cultivation is no different.
(Note: In this article we mention Itoco. Itoco is a client of TrendScan and members of the TrendScan team own stock and options to stock in Itoco.)