An Israeli company, Together Pharma was cleared to start growing weed in Uganda by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) who approved their license on March 18, 2019.
The company was to operate as Industrial Globus Uganda Ltd and had acquired land to grow medical cannabis for export and even promised to build a marijuana oil extraction plant in Kampala with an initial investment of $5m (Shs18.7 billion).
” This investment License has been issued under Section 16 of the Investment Code, 1991. The provision of the Investment Code 1991 and Guidelines and Procedures brought into effect under it shall apply,” read the license.
But Evelyn Anite Uganda’s State Minister for Investment said the government has not conclusively decided on the issuing of the investment license to the Cannabis Company hence the immediate suspension.
“Cabinet has asked the Ministry of Health to do more research on the growing and exporting of medical cannabis. There are four more investors who want to grow cannabis for medical benefits but the Ministry was tasked to see how it will be grown controlled and set up the necessary laws to govern such a sector.
“In that, before the Ministry of Health makes a report to the cabinet and Parliament has set up the necessary laws, the license that had been issued is withheld until all the above is in place,” said Anite.
Ugandan law prohibits the cultivation of any plant from which narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances may be extracted without permission from the health minister. The prohibited plants, according to the law, include cannabis, coca bush, catha edulis, papaver sominferum (opium poppy) and papaver setigerum.
While cannabis remains a banned drug in Museveni’s territory given its destructive effects when abused globally some states in the United States have legalised the use of marijuana in limited quantities. Researchers have even reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis.