Cannabis in Latin America

July 2021

Latin America is forecast to have the second largest percentage growth by region over the next five years. And although the current market is undeveloped and considered niche, the region will also see the second largest absolute growth in value (USD million) terms by 2025. Better access and availability of products will be the drivers of growth in the region.

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Key findings

Latin America leads forecast performance with medical cannabis driving growth

Latin America is the region with the second largest forecast percentage growth And although the current market is underdeveloped and considered niche, the region will also see the second largest absolute growth in value (USD million) terms by 2025. Better access and availability of products will be the drivers of growth in the region.

Countries’ cannabis profiles vary dramatically with striking differences

The region has some of the most developed cannabis cultures in the world such as Uruguay and Chile. However, great differences persist among consumers. Clear generational and social gaps still exist that make legislation and development of the market a slow process. Education of the potential positive social, economic and personal impacts the industry can have is a key component of corporate strategies.

Cannabis is still in its infancy and highly dependent on legal frameworks

Although there is partial legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis growing in the region, this is yet to transform into real development of the industry. In many cases, the legal frameworks are more important than the status. The difference in legal approaches and frameworks makes the region difficult to navigate for international companies.

Strategic maximalism has given way to a fragmented value chain

As companies start to pop-up in the region, strategic maximalism has given way to niche specialisation to support a global cannabis supply chain. Local companies will have to face the question of raw commodity-like materials versus ready-for-consumer products.

Introduction

Scope
Latin America country coverage
Key findings

Regional Overview

Latin America will lead cannabis growth
Medical cannabis to become the most important category in the region

Country Snapshots

Brazilian market is mainly medical with no presence for adult-use cannabis
Brazilian consumers spread evenly with generational divides
Chile’s cannabis culture will spark adult-use growth
Social acceptance in Chile is widespread, but some resistance persists
Colombia’s local industry is heavily focused on medical cannabis
Despite social stigma Colombians are curious about cannabis
Mexico’s market is in its infancy, new regulation will bring it to maturity
Acceptance in Mexico is on the rise and consumers increasingly curious

Categories and Opportunities

Access to medical cannabis is still limited in the region
Education and treatment expansion will pave the way forward
CBD seen as palliative health, but perception is changing
New formats could help CBD market to grow but barriers exist
Adult-use blooms in the grey area of decriminalisation
Cannabis culture will impact the effect of total legalisation

Regional Production and Supply Chain

Regional cannabis production hampered by red tape
Strategic maximalism versus value chain fragmentation

Product Presence and New Developments

New routes to market will fuel growth in Latin America
Imported products are expensive and local options are limited
Strategic maximalism in the region and medical cannabis’ many faces

Legislation and Legal Frameworks in the Region

Latin America’s recent regulatory updates
Where consumers stand on cannabis legalisation ?
Where does the Latin American political spectrum stand on cannabis?

Appendix

Current adult-use cannabis consumer types
Plotting the views and attitudes of non-users
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