Uruguay seeks to attract foreign investments in its legal marijuana industry
The head of Uruguay's National Drug Board (JND), Diego Olivera, speaks during the signing of a cooperation agreement between the country's trade and investment promotion agency and its cannabis regulator to encourage investments in the legal marijuana industry, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Oct. 10, 2018. EPA-EFE/Aitor Pereira
Montevideo, Oct 10 (efe-epa).- Uruguay's trade and investment promotion agency and the country's cannabis regulator signed Wednesday a cooperation agreement on encouraging foreigners to invest in the legal marijuana industry.
"There are many opportunities regarding the cannabis industry. The signing of this agreement will allow us to better advise companies and encourage both national and foreign firms to invest," the director of the Uruguay XXI agency, Antonio Carambula, said of the pact with the IRCCA regulatory body.
"I would like to highlight the potential role of foreign direct investment in this sector," he said.
An aide to President Tabare Vazquez said numerous business opportunities are already being considered.
"There are 17 companies that are authorized to carry out research, cultivation and industrialization of cannabis for medical purposes, to produce oils and cosmetic creams, to create two yerba mate brands with non-psychoactive cannabis, and to conduct agronomical research," Juan Andres Roballo said.
There are currently "20 other projects that are being analyzed by the IRCCA," he said.
According to figures revealed by the head of Uruguay's National Drug Board (JND), Diego Olivera, if these new projects were to be launched they would lead to "an investment of between $80 million and $100 million" and the creation of 2,500 jobs, while the legal marijuana sector currently only provides "400 jobs."