The Minister for Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has dismissed as unfounded and baseless, reports linking her to cannabis growing in Uganda.
A recent post making rounds on social media channels indicated that the Health Minister was involved in dealing and growing cannabis in the country and that she was in trouble over the same.
However, in a statement released on Sunday evening, the minister said the reports were made and being circulated by self-seekers.
“It’s unfortunate that some people always choose to circulate wrong information. I wish to categorically state that I am not involved in growing Cannabis and I am in no trouble over Cannabis,”Aceng said.
The Health Minister explained that she has not issued any authorization for cannabis growing in Uganda as has been alleged in the social media reports.
“Cabinet is yet to consider the feasibility of this(cannabis growing). Until then, I request the population to ignore the wrong media posts and treat it baseless and malicious.”
The Health Minister earlier this year presented to cabinet for approval, paperwork of guidelines for the growth of cannabis in the country.
The strict guidelines included: a minimum capital of $5m (shs18.3billon ) and a bank guarantee of shs4 billion ; 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.
The guidelines also indicated that 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.
Currently, growing of cannabis for treating severe medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other neurological conditions is already happening in Uganda being done by Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd working with Pharma Limited, from Israeli and this is for medical purposes.
However, last year, the State Minister for Investment, Evelyn Anite said the licence issued to the Israel firm to grow marijuana in Uganda was done through the back door.