LaSanta Botanicals wholly-owned subsidiary, LaSanta SAS, has obtained approval by the national agency for agriculture of Colombia (ICA) to begin commercial cultivation of 10 strains of cannabis, after successfully completing the first characterization crop of over 700 plants. The approved cultivars demonstrated consistency in genetics and a mix of commercially valuable cannabinoid profiles.
The approval from ICA is a significant milestone, making LaSanta one of the first licensed producers in Colombia to receive approval for commercial cultivation, and one of only two companies with 10 or more approved cultivars in Colombia. LaSanta has an additional 10 strains in the process of agronomic evaluation and expects to submit its third lot of 10 strains before the end of June. In all, the company currently has more than 70 registered strains available for characterization in Colombia. Commercial cultivation of the approved cultivars has commenced, with approximately 3,000 plants in the vegetative state. Planting will ramp up through the summer and it is anticipated the first harvest should occur in October 2019.
In another major step toward commercialization, LaSanta leased in May a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical lab in Zipaquira, Colombia that was operating under INVIMA GEP certification. The lab is designed to produce personalized cannabis prescriptions, known in Colombia as “Magistral Formulations,” for patient treatment and clinical trials. It is situated in the same industrial park where LaSanta is building its extraction facility designed for European Union GMP certification. It is anticipated that these two facilities will allow LaSanta to sell cannabis products in the domestic market, and export to Europe and other regions of the world.
Over the past 18 months, LaSanta’s experienced team has established the foundation to create long-term value in the global cannabis industry. The company has more than 2.1 million square feet of land in Colombia licensed for cannabis cultivation, including a 1.3 million square foot farm in Sutamarchan, 160 kilometres north of the capital city of Bogota. The farm was formerly used for organic tomato cultivation and is situated in an ideal micro-climate for year-round indoor and outdoor cannabis production, with optimal solar radiation, ample water and ideal relative humidity.
The initial phase of operation, with total greenhouse space of 240,000 square feet, will have the ability to produce approximately 36,000 kilograms of dried cannabis flower annually.