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Cannabis Investment Prospects


On the flower export market, there is already a clearly defined need for non-psychoactive varieties with significant healing properties. It is very likely that the export of flowers and biomass will be carried out to other countries for the extraction of drug-free cannabinoids, primarily to countries with a high cost of growing agricultural products and a high level of development of the pharmaceutical industry (Switzerland or Germany). 

In May 2020, the Investment, Export and Country Brand Promotion Agency of the country Uruguay XXI published a study demonstrating the export potential of the hemp industry in the aforementioned Latin American country. At a minimum, you can be glad for our colleagues focusing on how the government of Uruguay relates to hemp breeding and what they are doing to attract additional financial investments to the industry. For those who in national hemp breeding “seriously and permanently” it makes sense to pay attention to a number of points reflected in a document prepared by government officials in Uruguay. Experts of the Hemp Consulting information and analytical platform are planning to analyze the full text of the available materials, but we will try to maximally fully reflect a number of key research items that may be of interest to national hemp breeders.

The “Prospects” section analyzes the export potential of hemp products or products made using hemp raw materials. It is argued that the following areas of hemp business possess excellent export potential: selection, food, animal feed, cosmetics, medical hemp.


The development of the agro-industrial chain of modern hemp breeding begins with a base, so Uruguay must have a policy for the development of a national breeding base. When developing the breeding base of modern hemp breeding, it is necessary to take into account the development prospects in the food sector, the sector of plant use for medical purposes, as well as the possibilities of using hemp for the production of textiles, biocomposite materials, cellulose, etc.


Hemp raw materials have significant export potential as tasty and healthy ingredients used for the preparation of food or drinks. Uruguay will not be able to position itself as an exporter of hemp food products until it creates the conditions for reliable, transparent and flexible domestic market operations. It is emphasized that the presence of cannabinoids in grain products will be almost zero, and in other headings the presence of cannabidiol, as well as other drug-free cannabinoids in small concentrations, positively affects consumers because of their ability to act as a modulator of the nervous system and an excellent neuroprotective agent (a warning damage to brain neurons caused by pathogenic factors (their effect is aimed at eliminating or reducing pathophysiological and biochemical disorders in the nerve cell). It is considered very important to regulate this issue at the level of existing by-laws of Uruguay. In addition, it is necessary to clearly distinguish between the concepts of biologically active or food additives and products that belong to the category of drugs or pharmaceuticals.

Pet food

Feed must be differentiated according to the direction of use. On the one hand, for feeding cattle, pigs or chickens (green mass, young stalks, grain, root), as well as for use as a feed additive for pets. It makes sense to use something that can work as a natural painkiller, given the importance of stress-free animal performance and meat quality. The correlation between cannabis consumption and low stress in animals leads to a significant increase in weight, better penetration of fat into muscle mass and, consequently, to better product quality. 


The development of moisturizing, sunscreens with a low content of cannabinoids should be allowed in accordance with criteria similar to those developed in Switzerland. The use of hemp in cosmetics designed to relieve muscle pain is one of the most promising segments of the modern hemp market. 

Medical hemp

It is necessary to take into account the evolution of demand for medical hemp. Patients already have a perception of drug-free cannabinoids as an excellent preventive, neuroprotective raw material, which will be in constant demand. Hemp with a low content of tetrahydrocannabinol will play an increasingly important role as a food with a therapeutic effect. In addition, hemp raw materials will become a serious alternative to opiates and will help to effectively combat diseases such as epilepsy or be used by people in need like an analgesic, which can significantly reduce pain without side effects. In the coming years, the medical cannabis market will focus on several types of products, the main of which will be drugs that include cannabidiol and full-spectrum extract, which contains the whole range of therapeutic elements contained in hemp plants.

Uruguay’s export advantage over their counterparts from other countries is primarily a fairly low price. For potential investors, this means that investing in the hemp industry of Uruguay is more valuable than similar investments in African countries and more safer for investors than investing in Colombia and Mexico. In addition, investment in the hemp industry of Uruguay is clearly more profitable than similar investments in Greece, Portugal, Croatia, the Czech Republic and some other primarily European countries. We can say that gradually production will migrate from countries where production is more costly (Switzerland, Canada) to countries that can achieve a similar level of quality at lower prices.

Agency materials focus on cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids

Plant cannabidiol (CBD) is currently the main export product in terms of its use in the medical field. Laboratories already exist in Uruguay; they are interested in acquiring CBD for the use of this cannabinoid in various formulations. It can be assumed that the market in the medium term will require a significant amount of cannabidiol, even though in many countries of the world the possibilities for its use are significantly limited. Actively growing markets for the sale of plant cannabidiol in Europe, Asia, as well as North America, due to the use of drug-free cannabinoids as a neuroprotector in foods, cosmetics, biologically active and nutritional supplements, not in the extracted form, but in the form of therapeutically active raw materials made from leaves and inflorescences of a plant with significant medical properties. It is the manufacture of this kind of product that implies the absence of any barriers from the point of view of selling such products on the markets of any economically developed countries of the world. The presence in the formulation of manufactured food products or the formulation of cosmetic preparations of plant materials that have the therapeutic properties of drug-free cannabinoids (primarily cannabidiol) will undoubtedly become one of the key arguments in the sale of this kind of goods abroad.

Terpenes are another important component of hemp plants - a chemical group of substances very close to cannabinoids. Terpenes are chemical compounds that give hemp a special smell. Terpenes, like cannabinoids, have enormous therapeutic potential. Their use is especially interesting from an economic point of view in the field of cosmetics and especially perfumes, despite the fact that they have great potential for use in food. 

Flavonoids are the third group of compounds in which a business is interested. Studies show the tremendous antioxidant properties of this particular component of hemp plant.

Particular attention to the market of leaves and inflorescences of technical hemp technical orientation

On the flower export market, there is already a clearly defined need for non-psychoactive varieties with significant healing properties. Cannabis in particular is an interesting alternative to nicotine smokers in high-income countries. It is very likely that the export of flowers and biomass will be carried out to other countries for the extraction of primarily drug-free cannabinoids into them, usually to states with a high cost of growing agricultural products and a high level of development of the pharmaceutical industry (Switzerland or Germany).

Commentary by the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association

As of March 2020, there were 40 enterprises in Uruguay that received the necessary permits for this, specializing in the cultivation of hemp on an area of ​​about 600 hectares, in addition, there are 8 production and 19 research and licensed research organizations that specialize in certain aspects of the study. , processing, as well as sales of hemp raw materials or highly liquid products obtained from it.

Uruguay was the first country in the world to regulate the use of hemp raw materials, as well as products made from them for industrial, medical and scientific purposes. This led to the first wave of investment involving global and local players. The Agency’s position on maximizing the use of the country's geographic location, as well as its commitment to export high value-added agricultural products, is also an advantage in the international hemp market. At least over the next few years, in addition to experts who specialize in hemp, the state structures of Ukraine will not only be able to write a document of the level proposed by the officials of Uruguay, but also to formulate problems that need to be addressed first of all in order for national hemp breeding could compete on an equal footing in the global hemp market. 

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