By Our Writer
An overwhelming number of Foreign and private companies in Uganda have joined the listings to grow and export marijuana. This is happening even before the authorities here in the Uganda government complete consultations on the medical and financial benefits of cannabis.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 2015 that was passed by Parliament, has consequently sparked-off such overwhelming rush among prospective local and foreign marijuana entrepreneurs keen to invest in the medical marijuana industry.
Even when the authorities are still grappling with the idea of how to regulate the growing of medical marijuana. sources within have confirmed the pressure government has been put under from the various marijuana dealers to explain why they allowed Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd, a private company working with another Israeli-based cannabis firm to grow marijuana in Kasese yet frustrating others through with a lot of bureaucracy or delaying tactics.
Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng has for more than three months been ambivalent on how to proceed on a matter but when contacted by a local media journalist, she confirmed writing to at least all the competing companies totalling to 50 in numbers.
In view of continuous calls from ganja planters wanting to know the fate of their applications and those seeking information about marijuana business, sources said Dr Aceng on July 3 wrote to all the 50 marijuana companies and alleged that Uganda had not yet started issuing operational permits for companies to grow and process marijuana for medical purposes.
Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd, a private firm working with an Israel company, Together Pharma Ltd, is currently growing and processing marijuana from its Kasese facility. The company was given the licence in 2016. The company is also in the process of exporting marijuana, Cannabinol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with mixture of 2.7mg THC and 2.5mg CBD for Sativex drugs approved in USA, Europe and Canada.
Oil Risin contain Dronabinol for making Marinol and syndros capsules and CBD enriched creams for various skin disorders. Minister’s letter In one of the letters to marijuana firms applying to grow and process cannabis for medical purposes in Uganda, Dr Aceng wrote:
“The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health is still in early stages of carrying out wide consultations on this nascent area to understand the economic benefits of cannabis, its medical value based on scientifically proven evidence including the challenges of regulation so that we can formulate a way forward.” She added:
“In line with the above, we have not yet progressed to the stage of granting operational permits for entities to grow and process cannabis for medical export in Uganda. However, we welcome more information and input on the subject matter.” What is medical marijuana? The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. According to World Health Organisation, several studies have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for nausea and vomiting in the advanced stages of illnesses such as cancer and Aids.