The Latin America Cannabis Market


According to Prohibition Partners, by 2028, the legal cannabis market in Latin America will be worth over $12 Billion offering serious growth potential to cultivators and investors worldwide.


Fueled by low costs and a weak economy, currently the lowest grade cannabis in Latin America sells for less than $0.50 per gram.

Latin America has entered into the world stage on the cannabis community with the first country to legalize medical and recreational cannabis being Uruguay.

Cannabis has a much more positive public perception in Latin America and does not suffer the same difficulty as in the United States and other countries.

The UN claims that Columbia is a global leader with 44% of total cannabis exports.

The Latin American market has over 500 million potential patients and consumers. The low cost of agriculture indicates that the region will play an important role in the evolution of the global market.

Chile, Brazil, Columbia, and Argentina has seen rapid growth in cultivation and manufacturing, given the suitable climate and low cost labor. The cost of developing a facility in Latin America is over 80% lower than in North America.

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The Latin American area is home to over 560 million people and has a healthcare budget of over $350 billion, significantly smaller than the European budge of 2.3 trillion euro

The report estimates that a mature 2028 legal cannabis market in Latin America will be worth US$4.2 billion and the report estimates that 5.4% of the population use cannabis. A further consideration to the region is the ‘home grown’ factor which has bought the price to as low as $0.50 per gram.

Mexico has a 15% share of the Latin American cannabis market and is the second largest after Chile, which has an estimated 39% share of the market.

The legislative framework in Latin America is very advantageous and farseeing and this will add to the potential the region has to become a major force in the cannabis sector. Very good climatic conditions provide serious competition to markets that rely on expensive electricity to grow indoors. Add t the low cost labor and infrastructure and Latin America has many advantages in the emerging markets globally.

Commercial opportunities

Market segmentation of the cannabis industry

Looking into the future, one can see how the Latin American market may lead the way. The first nation to legalize recreational cannabis globally was Uruguay, and Columbia is the holder of the only exportation license in the region.

With Latin America entering into the marketplace globally, we will see you drop in the price of cannabis oil. The importance of experienced cultivation for export markets and high level of infrastructure will differentiate Latin America from other export markets. The 2018 report indicates that medical cannabis will be legal in Latin America within three years if not already so. Recreational cannabis is anticipated to be legalized over the next five years.

The report indicates that once the United Nations reschedules cannabis, Latin America will make medicinal cannabis legal across the entire region. The government cannot ignore the medical and economic potential of the legal cannabis industry. The report indicates that both legal and recreational cannabis in Latin America will emerge within the next 5 to 10 years.

Even though there are 42 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, many of the legislative positions are very similar. Uruguay and Columbia had established free trade agreements with Canada and Europe.

The report highlights a trend towards widespread legalization of medicinal cannabis in the very near future and it is anticipated that cannabis will be treated like any other cultivation product.

A market overview of Argentina and the cannabis industry

Argentina has a population of 44.69 million people with a GDP of US $637.6 billion. Cannabis oil has been legalized since 2017. The total healthcare expenditure is $43.4 billion dollars and there is an alcohol consumption of 9.8 liters per capita per year. The prevalence of tobacco use in the population aged 15+ is 19.3% and the prevalence of cannabis users in the percentage of population aged 15 to 64 is 21.8%. In Argentina, the average cost per gram of cannabis in US dollars is $1.30.

Argentina’s legislation approved medical cannabis in March 2017 and allows for the import of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy. With a doctor’s prescription patients with adult access medical cannabis. At the time of the report, Argentina had no domestic supply of medical cannabis and overseas importation supply for local market.

A look at the Argentinian healthcare system shows that there is a $43.4 billion total healthcare expenditure with $5.2 billion in pharmaceutical spending. Approved cannabis based products in Argentina are Charlotte’s Web oil by Stanley Brothers in the United States and cannabis derivatives.

An overview of the Brazil medical cannabis market and demographics.

Brazil has a population of 210 million people and a GDP of $2.1 trillion. The ruling party stands on cannabis is favorable and there is a total healthcare expenditure of $170 billion. Alcohol consumption liters per capita per year is 7.8 and a 13.9% prevalence of tobacco use. The prevalence of cannabis use is 2.5% of the population and the average cost per gram of cannabis in US dollars is $0.25.

The Brazilian national health agency in 2015 made provisions to allow the import of CBD oil into Brazil. Starting in 2014 small amounts of medical cannabis were imported to treat children with epilepsy. Currently, resident doctors and patients are now legally allowed to import CBD products.

In Brazil, with a doctor’s prescription medical cannabis can be obtained. Approved patients can import medicinal cannabis products into the country. Recreational market is generally illegal how was decriminalized in 2006 for personal use.

The Brazilian Healthcare shows a total expenditure of $174.3 billion with $22 billion in pharmaceutical spending. The total estimated medical cannabis allowance is 120 g as a 2018 and the total medical cannabis market value in 2018 zero. The approved cannabis based products in Brazil our CBD oil and Sativex.

An overview of the cannabis market in Chile.

Chile has a population of 17.9 million people with a GP of $247 billion. The government supports private use of medical cannabis and has a total healthcare expenditure of US$31.3 billion the alcohol consumption liters per capita per year is 9.3 and the percentage of tobacco use is 37.8%. The prevalence of cannabis use is 11.3% as at 2014 and the average cost per gram of cannabis is $7.10

Chile commenced a pilot program in 2014 for cannabis products and in 2015, medical cannabis oil was legalized in Chile. Citizens of Chile have the right to grow cannabis at home and to buy imported medical cannabis oil at pharmacies. In Chile the environment and regulations regarding medical cannabis is that medical cannabis is legalized in 2015 recreational cannabis is decriminalized and industrial cannabis is legal.

Healthcare analysis of Chile shows that there is a total healthcare expenditure of $31.3 billion. Pharmaceutical spending is $837 billion as at 2008. The total grams of allowable medical cannabis in 2018 was 15,000. The market value of the medical cannabis market in 2018 was $186 million.

The market overview of Columbia Cannabis Industry

The country has a population of 49.5 million people are GDP of $309.2 billion. The government legalized medical cannabis in 2015, there is a total healthcare expenditure of $22.26 billion. The percentage of tobacco uses is 13% and cannabis users at 3.27% as a 2013. Average cost of cannabis per gram is $1.60.

Manufacture export and sale of medical cannabis was first authorized in Columbia in 1986, however the country did not provide adequate regulation and prevented production nationally. This changed in 2015 under the new president who officially legalized medical cannabis for domestic use and export. Cannabis expects in Columbia have been legally available since 2016

In Columbia cultivation for personal use is permitted, however it is illegal to sell the products, seeds or flowers to third persons.

A look at the Colombian health care system shows a total healthcare expenditure of $19.2 billion. Total pharmaceutical spending of set $1.7 billion in 2016. In 2018 the total estimated medical cannabis allowance in grams was 40 million. The total estimated medical cannabis value in 2018 was $21.06 million.

A market overview of Jamaica

Jamaica has a population of 2.89 million people, with a GDP of $14.77 billion. Cannabis has been decriminalized since 2015. Jamaica has a total healthcare expenditure of $845 billion in 2015. The country has a 4.2 liter per capita use of alcohol per year and 16.8% of the population used tobacco. Prevalence of cannabis use in 2010 was 7.21% of the population. The average cost per gram is $1.40 per gram.

Medical cannabis is legal in Jamaica as a 2015 and legal amendments in 2015 included the tourist may obtain permits to purchase small amount of cannabis with a medical prescription. In Jamaica, possession of up to 2 ounces or 56 g is classified as a petty offence and does not result in a criminal record. For personal use up to 5 cannabis plants per household can be cultivated and Rastafarians maintain the right to use cannabis as a sacrament.

In Jamaica the medical cannabis industry was legalized in 2015 and in the same year recreational cannabis was decriminalized

An overview of the healthcare analysis in Jamaica shows a total healthcare expenditure of $845 billion in 2015 the total estimated medical cannabis allowance in 2018 is 2000 g. The total estimated medical cannabis market value in 2018 was estimated at $0.003 million and approved cannabis based products are cannabis flowers.

An overview of the Mexico cannabis market.

Mexico has a population of 130.8 million people estimated in 2018 and a GDP of $1.5 trillion in 2016. In Mexico, cannabis is illegal but decriminalised as of 2009.

There is a total healthcare expenditure of $74.7 million and the alcohol consumption is 6.5 liters per capita per year. Prevalence of tobacco uses is on 14% and cannabis users 2.1% as of 2016 the average cost of cannabis is $2.90.