Uganda Proposes Tough Rules to Weed Out ‘Jokers’ in Its Multi-Billion Cannabis Industry

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Uganda parliament has proposed tough prelicensing condition for investors looking to invest in its multi-billion medical cannabis industry. This new condition will require them to secure buyers before they are given licences. Under the proposed revised guidelines for marijuana business, the more than 100 companies and individuals with pending applications, will be required to present evidence of marijuana buyers before getting licences for growing or exporting marijuana products.

National Drug Authority (NDA) and the Health ministry hopes that this radical measure would streamline things and help the government kick out speculators in the business.

“We need serious people, not vendors. We don’t want people who are going to get clearance and then start vending medical cannabis licences. We want serious investors who are going to produce cannabis for medical purposes only,” the NDA chairman.

Uganda’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2015, allows cultivation, production and exportation of medical marijuana and mandates the Health minister to issue written consent for medical marijuana. Marijuana has been linked to treating severe medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and other neurological conditions.

Potential investors are still waiting on the Health Minister, to present the new guidelines and unveil a confidential list of more than 100 companies and individuals seeking government permission to grow and export cannabis for medical purposes, as the growth and cultivation of cannabis continue in other parts of Uganda.

Among other requirements for one to get a licence include, ensuring that marijuana farms or sites are not located near schools, hospitals and residential areas. In case of any associates/business partners, the details must be disclosed to the government. Site designs, a robust security system with access control systems and intrusion should also be disclosed.

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