- Title: Uruguayâ€™s cannabis growers go global with first overseas shipment
- Date: 2nd October 2019
- Summary: CANELONES, URUGUAY (SEPTEMBER 27, 2019) (REUTERS) BARCODE FOR CANNABIS PLANT VARIOUS OF PLANTS BEING GROWN UNDER HYDROPONIC CONDITIONS LEWIS AND EMPLOYEE AMONGST PLANTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOTMER LIFE SCIENCES CEO, JORDAN LEWIS, SAYING: "In addition, it marks the end of the prohibitionist policies which were really destructive and counter-productive to the economies and the social justice throughout Latin America. So we are very happy to be the leaders in this regard and we hope to continue demonstrating that a responsible, mature cannabis industry is in everybody's best interests." VARIOUS OF CANNABIS CUTLINGS BEING PREPARED VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEE IN LABORATORY WITH CUTLINGS THAT ARE GROWING
- Embargoed: 16th October 2019 12:49
- Keywords: cannabis marijuana Uruguay export
- Location: CANELONES + NUEVA HELVECIA, URUGUAY
- City: CANELONES + NUEVA HELVECIA, URUGUAY
- Country: Uruguay
- Topics: Health/Medicine,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA003AZEKU9Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In a white, sterilised laboratory on the outskirts of Uruguayan capital Montevideo, biochemists are carefully cultivating plants for a booming multi-billion dollar global market: medical marijuana.
The company Fotmer Life Sciences has just made the first ever commercial shipment of medical cannabis from Latin America, 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of dried flower with high levels of active ingredient THC destined for patients in Australia.
The landmark export underscores the burgeoning market for legal cannabis, that medically can be used by cancer patients to manage chronic pain or to reduce spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. The global market is expected to reach $66.3 billion by 2025, according to consultancy Grand View Research.
Fotmer Life Sciences CEO Jordan Lewis said the shipment to Australia - of dried marijuana flowers high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - was a key step, adding in the coming weeks he hoped to announce shipments to the European Union, where Germany is the key market.
In the coming weeks the firm will begin exporting 100 kilograms (220 pounds) each month of dried flowers and cannabis extracts.
Uruguay has been ahead of the curve developing its local industry. Six years ago it passed a law regulating the local industry. In 2017, Fotmer received the first license to produce 10 tonnes of dried cannabis flowers annually for medicinal use and earlier this year an approval linked to cannabis oil.
In the company's facilities, in a science park complex 21 kilometres (13.05 miles) from Montevideo's centre, Varela's team of scientists are taking things seriously.
At the site, temperature, humidity, lighting and concentration of carbon dioxide are permanently measured and controlled. The company has 350 marijuana plants of 27 different genetic varieties.
Each pot has a number and bar code, part of a traceability system to track the history of each of the plants and possible genetic issues, as well as each step in the production process.
The plants are then transferred to an industrial plant in Nueva Helvecia 120 kilometres (74 miles) away, and put into greenhouses with drying, curing and packaging machinery. At harvest time, 180 people arrive to work between the two industrial complexes.
Uruguay's support for the industry put it at the forefront of the growing global market.
(Production: Juan Bustamante, Miguel Lo Bianco)
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