Last year, Uganda licensed a number of its local farmers to grow cannabis for exportation to be used in manufacturing medicinal drugs. Kenya is looking into the direction of licensing Marijuana, and in a constitutional petition seen by urbwise, interested parties are fighting hard to see this venture materialize.
The petition seeks to remove the control of licensing of cannabis cultivation from the control of the Ministry of Interior and have it under the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and compel the Ministry of Health through the Pharmacy and Poisons Board to develop procedures and guidelines for licensing (this will be with input of stakeholders) and subsequently issue licences.
As per the petition, the parallel licensing system creates unpredictability in the license application process which in turn threatens, integrity, sound operation, and viability of the entire regulatory framework. Since the enactment of the Narcotic and Psychotropic substances Act, no regulations have been made for licensing of a licit use of cannabis and that the absence of the licensing board and regulatory has created a classical scenario of statutory redundancy.
The relief sought by the petitioners is a declaration that provisions of some of the sections of the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substance Act are unconstitutional and that the Pharmacy and Poisons Board is the recognized agent for licensing. An order of Injunction restraining Hemp Passion Group, a fourth respondent in the case from advertising, marketing or dealing in Kilimanjaro Cannabis variety except in the laid down provisions and compensation to the tune of about Kshs Two Billion for the exploitation of indigenous strains and while at it pave way for research locally.