Colombia plans to legalise the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Justice Minister Yesid Reyes said the new regulations will apply only to medical and scientific uses of the drug.
He made the announcement in an interview with Caracol Radio on Thursday.
The news was a surprise in a country long identified with US-backed policies aimed at fighting the production of illicit drugs.
The new policy would include Colombia in a wave of changing attitudes toward marijuana that has sparked recent legalisation efforts from Mexico to Chile.
Colombian courts had already decriminalised the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The new rules will allow for commercial production.
Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria told Blu Radio that the country could someday export marijuana products.