Uruguayan Cannabis Company Betting on Hemp

Uruguay made history nearly three years ago when it became the first modern country to legalize recreational marijuana at the federal level. But given how difficult the country’s industry rollout has been, at least one Uruguayan cannabis producer is shifting its sights to marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin: hemp.

International Cannabis Corp., one of only two licensed marijuana producers in the country, aims to tap a global hemp market instead of just the Uruguayan marijuana market, in part because it’s far less regulated, Bloomberg reported.

“In the hemp market we can produce all we can to meet demand,” a company spokesman told Bloomberg.

The company can also ship its hemp and hemp products around the globe, because hemp faces far fewer trade barriers than marijuana. And because Uruguay has just 3.3 million, the potential for growth in the marijuana trade there is limited.

That company plans to start cultivating hemp next month, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, national cannabis sales should begin in Uruguay in a “matter of weeks,” National Drugs Board chairman Juan Andrews Roballo told Bloomberg.