Uganda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, has approved the cultivation of medical cannabis and announced related regulations for companies wishing to cultivate it.
Aceng and his team have previously launched several months of consultations to understand the economic benefits of cannabis, its medical value based on scientific evidence, and the challenges of regulation before they can formulate a way forward.
The regulations have not yet been published, but the Health Minister has already unveiled that individuals and companies seeking to grow or export therapeutic cannabis will be required to present a minimum capital of €4.5 million and a bank guarantee of nearly €1 million.
However , Cannabis cultivation sites should not be located near schools, hospitals, and residential areas. The government will also validate the design of the sites, the security system with access control and intrusion control systems on-site.
Although , Cannabis use is illegal in Uganda. However, the government appears eager to take advantage of export opportunities as demand for cheap medical cannabis increases in markets such as Europe and North America.
Many companies have already applied for licenses to cultivate cannabis for medical purposes in Uganda. In fact , industrial Hemp Uganda LTD, is one of the only companies that are currently allowed to conduct pilot projects on cannabis in Uganda. The latter has announced distribution agreements with German pharmacies besides Sativex in the United States, which we doubt (Sativex is not sold in the United States), and more recently wants to export to Malta and Israel, which seems more reasonable.
Estimates of the total cannabis market in Africa are around 35 billion Euros. Moreover , the continent accounts for one-third of global cannabis consumers. Africa may be in a better position than Canada and Colombia to provide Europe with a cost-effective supply of cannabis.
Lesotho became the first African country to legalize medical cannabis in 2017, while South Africa or Zimbabwe is in the process of developing local cannabis production companies.