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Uganda Likely to miss out on US7Bn Africa Cannabis Earnings over failure to license Industry Players

In October 2021, Industrial Hemp Uganda, a private firm licensed to grow and process medical cannabis, said it exported 400 kilograms of medical marijuana to Germany on October 16.

Uganda is likely to miss out on the hefty revenue earnings from medicinal cannabis estimated to be $7bn because it has refused to legalese the farming and trading of the sensitive plant.

Tens of local and international companies have applied to be licensed to grow the herb but the government maintains they cannot issue the licenses because it hasn’t formulated the right laws to regulate the industry.

However, some industry players say this is a deliberate move to lock them out of the business since some companies are exporting the herb. They cite favoritism and bad business tendencies for the refusal to issue licenses.

In October 2021, Industrial Hemp Uganda, a private firm licensed to grow and process medical cannabis, said it exported 400 kilograms of medical marijuana to Germany on October 16.

But the figures could be higher than this if the industry is opened up, industry players, who have over the year begged to be let operate said. African countries like Rwanda and South Africa are progressing in the business.

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The latest reports indicate that Canada-based Instadose Pharma Corp completed a record shipment of 2.125 tonnes of medicinal cannabis from South Africa to North Macedonia on 25 December 2021.

This follows the shipment in August of just over 2,000kg of THC and 6,500kg of CBD flower and trim from Lesotho by Highlands Investments. Such deals, according to industry players on the say will make the African cannabis market worth over $7bn annually by 2023.

A 2020 report by Prohibition Partners estimates that the bulk of the market will reside in five countries: Nigeria ($3.7bn), South Africa ($1.7bn), Morocco ($900m), Lesotho ($90m) and Zimbabwe ($80m), if the necessary legislation is introduced.

Uganda, with her rigidity, will miss out on this money and the herb market and will be forced to play catch-up with the already established countries. There is reported growing demand for medical marijuana is growing exponentially in Europe and the US.


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