By Kampala Post Reporter
Cabinet has set up a subcommittee to inquiry into a proposal of legalizing the commercial growing of marijuana in Uganda.
According to State minister of Health for General Duties, Sarah Opendi, the subcommittee is chaired by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and is currently processing the proposal.
“Cabinet has discussed the matter extensively and a cabinet subcommittee chaired Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda is in place to critically look at issues of enforcement and regulations. We are hopeful that early next year we should be able to receive a report from this cabinet subcommittee and thereafter we should be able to make a decision,” Opendi told media.
A few companies including Together Pharma Limited and Hemp in Kasese have been ‘secretly’ growing marijuana. Opendi says that whereas she has visited the marijuana growing facility in Kasese, it is done in-doors to avoid people abusing the plant. Among the ministries that will be in charge of issuing licenses to marijuana growing companies include; Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Justice, Internal Affairs, National Drug Authority (NDA) and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA).
Currently, 14 companies have applied to acquire license to grow medical cannabis for export, according to the Ministry of Health. The National Drug Policy and Authority Act, 1993 provides that “No person shall, without the written consent of the Health Minister… cultivate any plant from, which a narcotic drug can be extracted.”
According to a recent report by the New Frontier Data, a UK-based authority in data analytics and business intelligence on the global cannabis industry, 2.6 Million Ugandans use marijuana and Uganda is 8th position among the top 10 countries in Africa.