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Interview with Anthony Wile: Canadian Entrepreneur Cultivates Colombian Cannabis

While dual citizenship is becoming increasingly common in our global society, not many people have homes in Canada and Colombia. Anthony Wile—the CEO, director and co-founder of PharmaCielo Ltd. —became a citizen of Colombia in August 2018 by decree of President Juan Manuel Santos, yet maintains his Canadian citizenship. He is a resident of both Toronto and Medellín and is fluent in English and Spanish.

We caught up with Anthony Wile to discuss his leadership at PharmaCielo, the future of the cannabis industry, and why Colombia is so special.

Tell us a little about your professional journey and how you got to where you are.

Anthony Wile: I began my career in the Canadian investment industry with Scotia McLeod and Nesbitt Burns. I have lived and worked in several financial centers around the world, developing a network of international business and finance professionals. I’ve also published a number of books focused on building private equity businesses and leveraging burgeoning investment trends to generate wealth.

Q: Why and how did you get involved in the cannabis industry?

Anthony Wile:After seeing the potential in Canada’s cannabis industry, and doing research for my 2013 book, Financial Freedom, I realized global expansion wasn’t far behind. I co-founded PharmaCielo and chose Canada to house our global parent based on its high standards of financial accountability and leadership in establishing a highly regulated, national medical cannabis industry.

Q: Is PharmaCielo involved in research or academic programs?

Anthony Wile: Yes. Working with Colombia’s leading medical school, CES University, we’ve contributed to the development of academic certification programs for medical practitioners on the science and application of cannabis-based treatments to the patient community. We also sponsor research on the application of cannabis as a medical treatment.

Q: How does Colombia factor in?

Anthony Wile:Having lived and worked part-time in Colombia over the past 16 years, I recognized the region’s outstanding climate and economic conditions, including its history in the cut-flower industry, as well as its clear legal framework for cannabis licensing. The country’s ideal growing environment and decades of experience has made it the foremost supplier of other agricultural commodities including coffee and bananas. Together, these factors make Colombia the most cost-competitive and environmentally friendly nation for producing all natural cannabis products of the highest quality.

Q: Are there any negatives given Colombia’s reputation in past decades?

Anthony Wile:While there was some skepticism about converting the plague of reputational negativity associated with the global drug war into a positive contributor, some within the cut-flower industry realized the opportunity before them, and the responsibility of the country to help craft new paths for all its peoples. We knew that with the right legislation, regulation, security and leadership support, Colombia could quickly take the leading position in medicinal and scientific cannabis in the global marketplace.

Q: How does PharmaCielo benefit Colombia?

Anthony Wile: We are proud to stand with the communities of Cauca, which have been at the front line of challenge from revolutionary forces over past decades. PharmaCielo isn’t just a company that’s operating in Colombia — we’re committed to generating economic growth within the country, furthering Colombia’s medical cannabis industry and supporting the Colombian people in building a global industry that benefits the very people who have often been most challenged.

Q: Where do PharmaCielo and Colombia go from here?

Anthony Wile: We’ll do our best to continue our mission to be the best we can be and among the leaders of this industry on a global basis. Absolutely we’re shooting for the first spot and certainly expect to continue to be leaders five to 10 years down the road to the benefit of Colombia as a whole.


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