By Spy Uganda
The government of Uganda has set very stringent conditions for individuals and companies that want to grow and or export marijuana for medical purposes.
Chief among the conditions is that all those who want to secure licenses will be required to present minimum capital of USD5m (Shs18.3b) and a bank guarantee of Shs4Bn.
Investors will also be required to present a tax clearance certificate from the Uganda Revenue Authority, lists of employees and their job descriptions, a valid trading licence, evidence of value addition to cannabis and audited accounts.
In addition, the marijuana farms/sites or plantations must not be located near schools, hospitals and residential areas and in case of any associates/business partners, the details must be disclosed to government, including site designs, a robust security system with access control systems and intrusion systems in place.
The Health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, is expected to present the new guidelines and a confidential list of more than 100 companies and individuals seeking government permission to grow and export cannabis for medical purposes.
It should be noted however, that Dr Aceng has since April last year kept the companies uncertain about whether they will secure licenses or not, due to absence of guidelines for the new industry
Cabinet is expected to convene to discuss and approve the list of 15 guidelines for medical marijuana growing in the country before Parliament is briefed on the matter.
The 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.