The offer of products with CBD, cannabis or hemp, is increasing in the national market. From nutritional supplement in gummies, drinks in shotsinfusions, shampoo, even chocolates, are some of the various options in which this ingredient is found. Klaus Graetzer, president of CannAndes, one of the first companies to be created in this industry, spoke with Diario EL UNIVERSO about the growth of the sector and the expectations for this year.
When was CannAndes created and under what type of license does it operate?
CannAndes was created in 2020 and is the only company to date to have all the licenses for the activities described in regulation 109 of the Ministry of Agriculture.
How many types of licenses are there?
Ecuadorian regulations have seven types of license: import and commercialization of seeds (1), production and sale of cuttings (2), cultivation (3), industrial cultivation (4), extraction (5), genetics (6) and commercialization ( 7). To date there are close to 200 licenses granted to various companies across the country. CannAndes has met all the requirements of the seven types of license and is currently approved for all the activities described.
More than 150 cannabis products are sold on the market and imports have grown 1,052% since 2020
Was CannAndes engaged in other types of crops before the cannabis industry in Ecuador was approved and regulated?
No, CannAndes as a company has only been dedicated to Cannabis since its creation; however, one of its shareholders is a flower grower with more than 37 years in that sector.
How many Ecuadorian companies have received licenses for the cultivation, processing and commercialization of non-psychotropic cannabis?
The last cadastre that we were aware of, there were close to 200 licenses granted, it is possible that there are more to this day.
How many hectares of cannabis crops currently exist in the country?
We could not vouch for other companies, CannAndes has 2 hectares in production.
What type of products does CannAndes currently develop and how much has it invested in development, research and others?
CannAndes currently has raw materials, flower, crude, distillate, nano CBD and 12 finished products with sanitary registration. All our products are sold in our local Joint-CBDHouse, in González Suárez, in Quito. We have several agreements with universities to make Hempcrete (concrete), Hempwood (wood) and Hemplastic (biodegradable plastic). More than $200,000 have been invested in product research and development.
How many jobs does CannAndes generate?
CannAndes currently has 20 collaborators on the farm and 15 collaborators at the Quito location
In 2022, the company exported processed flower and one liter of cannabis tincture to Switzerland for the first time. Have you made more exports?
Yes, in December 500 kg between flower and biomass were exported.
First export of Ecuadorian cannabis arrived in Switzerland
Since the approval of the 2019 Law, and the issuance of the regulation to regulate the activity, in 2020, are there flower companies that have migrated to the cannabis industry completely or have they included these crops in their business lines?
To our knowledge there are three licensed companies that have experience in the floricultural world.
How has the non-psychotropic cannabis industry progressed since the issuance of licenses?
We believe that there are many products on the market and many companies doing interesting things.
How many CBD products are currently marketed in the national market and which are the segments that most attract industries?
There are many imported products and many national products, the important thing is that they must all have their respective consumption permit, health registration or equivalent. Most are for medicinal purposes.
What are the growth expectations of the cannabis industry in 2023 in relation to 2022?
At least 50% growth versus 2022.
What are the figures of the cannabis industry in Ecuador today?
I think that in Ecuador it is still very early and we do not have accurate data. Since CannAndes currently has negative numbers, we lose approximately $20,000 a month in keeping the operation alive. We hope to reach a balance point this year, as starting is very difficult. (YO)
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