The Colombian government announced that it plans to legalize medical cannabis and cannabis for scientific research.
The decision is not the same as the one made by Uruguay, which legalized cannabis in 2013, but follows a more cautious approach similar to decisions made in Mexico and Chile.
Colombians are currently allowed to possess up to 20 grams of cannabis or 20 cannabis plants, but that is only for personal use.
The executive decree from Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos would create regulations for medical cannabis growers and create a process for licensing. However, people would not be able to grow, distribute or sell cannabis beyond what is allowed under existing law and the terms under the decree.
In an effort to assure the U.S. and others who oppose the legalization of cannabis for recreational and commercial purposes, Justice Minister Yesid Reyes said that, "Nobody is talking about legalizing anything except for these two purposes."
Nevertheless, the news has raised hopes from businesses that specialize in cannabis products that the Colombian market could be opening to new opportunities.