Firms seeking to grow or export marijuana for medical purposes have decried the delay by government to approve their licenses such that they start their ventures
One of them who requested anonymity told The Nile Post that despite meeting the tough measures put in place by government, they have not been given the green light.
The investor said he had invested billions in research and other related costs.
“What pains me is that some of firms are working while others are not. That is not fair,” the investor said.
The investor said it appears that some firms are being favoured by senior officials in government at the expense of other companies.
A couple of years ago, government agreed to allow marijuana to be grown commercially for medical purposes.
This year, cabinet came up with strict guidelines which include: minimum capital of $5m (Shs18.3b) and a bank guarantee of Shs4b; 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.
Cabinet also said the marijuana farms/sites 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.
Growing of cannabis for treating severe medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and other neurological conditions is already happening in Uganda.
Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd is currently working with Pharma Limited, one of the biggest Israeli cannabis firms, in growing marijuana for medical purposes in Uganda.
They have invested $360m (about Shs1.3 trillion) in Hima, Kasese.
More than 100 companies- foreign and local – have applied to be licenced to grow marijuana.
They include; Natgro Phama (U) Ltd; Medraw (U) SMC Ltd; Urban Properties (U) Ltd; Prime Ranchers; Silver Seeds (U) Ltd; Dave and Dave Group; Seven Blades; Cannops Africa and Quest Worths International Group.
Others are; Premier Hemp; Sativa Agro-tech Ltd; Zeus Agro Ltd and Owesia U Ltd