Khiron Life Sciences Corp (CVE:KHRN) has taken another leap in the race for first-in advantage in Colombia’s burgeoning medical cannabis market.

Today, Khiron announced that it has been registered by the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) as an agronomical unit. This triumph positions Khiron to commence commercial cultivation of high THC strains requiring quota, and to cultivate and produce CBD strains not requiring quota. Most importantly, ICA authorization positions Khiron to be the first medical cannabis company to bring products to market in Colombia, which has the most liberal medical cannabis laws in South America.

Akin to the GMP-certification process in the European Union, achieving regulatory authorization is not easy. It requires dozens of green-lighted product samples, comprehensive site inspection passed, strict storage and processing compliance be adhered to, and more. Khiron becomes only the second such company to achieve ICA registration domestically—a testament to the large amount of red tape involved in the compliance process.

Ultimately, Khiron should get first crack to sell its medical products in the Colombian market. That market—at least by population—is about 37% larger than the Canadian market and contains a medical cannabis patient pool of roughly 5.6 million people. All told, there’s a potential of 100 million annual and re-occurring dollars up for grabs.

Branching out beyond national borders, the South American market is teaming with prospective consumers. The continent contains upwards of 423 million people, with approximately 68 million potential medical cannabis users in play. Cannabis consumption is not legal in all areas, but laws are being relaxed in Uruguay and Brazil—the continent’s most populous nation (208 million people).

Today’s announcement builds upon the news that Khiron had secured medical cannabis endorsements from two of the largest Medical Associations in Colombia a couple days prior. The company becomes the first cannabis company to achieve such distinction, as it attempts to build brand loyalty among the very professionals responsible for dispensing patient prescriptions. This type of behind-the-scenes maneuvering has been a concerted strategy in the company’s pre-revenue stage.