The Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, yesterday asked Parliament to pass new legislation that would formally permit cannabis to be produced under controlled circumstances.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Bill, which is currently before the Committee on defence and internal affairs, is intended to reflect this, according to Otafiire.
The new suggestion was made in response to the Constitutional Court’s early this year decision to strike down the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act for lack of quorum.
The portion of cannabis that would be legal, according to Otafiire, is medical in nature and would therefore be advantageous to Ugandans.
According to him, the aforementioned strain of cannabis could be useful in the treatment of a number of illnesses, such as epilepsy and COVID-19.
In 2019, the Government revealed plans to legalise cannabis growing. This was revealed by the then Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, who said the Government had plans to issue licences to cannabis-growing companies.
Several businesses have already begun cultivating medical cannabis in Uganda, despite previous denials from the Government.
According to the Independent Magazine, an Israeli company called Together Pharma Limited stated in June 2019 that it had harvested its first cannabis crop in Uganda despite its licence being suspended by Government.
The magazine further reported that on June 18, 2019, the company reportedly finished the first harvesting of Cannabis inflorescences at its farm in Uganda and also sowed an additional 10 dunams.
In the Kasese district, another company called Hemp is cultivating medical marijuana. According to recent media reports, up to 90 companies have requested permission from the government to cultivate medical marijuana.