By Gad Oteba
Uganda will export medical marijuana products to Canada and Germany worth Sh600b in June according to reports by the Daily Monitor.
Mr Benjamin Cadet , director of Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd, a private company located in Uganda said the firm had signed ten-year contracts with at least 20,000 pharmacies in Canada and Germany worth $100m and €58m respectively.
“We signed annual supply contracts with pharmacies in Canada to a tune of $100m (Shs371.8b) and €58m (Shs242.3b) for Germany… the current contracts run for 10 years but along the way, we shall expand to satisfy future demand,” Mr Cadet said.
Additional reports indicate that in December 2017, Industrial Hemp (U) Ltd exported unrefined marijuana valued at $10,000 to South Africa National Analytical Forensic Services in Pretoria.
The plants were extracted from a farm in Kasese District, and they are composed of Cannabinol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with a mixture of 2.7mg THC and 2.5mg CBD for Sativex drugs approved in USA, Europe and Canada.
“People are using morphine, the main component of opium as an analgesic for cancer pain. Opium is an Opioid and more addictive and with side effects. Cannabinol (CBD) from medical marijuana is the best option for such patients…Cancer patients are using CBD illegally. We have the scientists and the technology to do this but regulations are not in place to allow cannabis drugs manufactured for domestic consumption,” he added.
Approximately 20 companies have allegedly sent letters to Uganda’s Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng seeking permission to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Those backing medical marijuana say its chemicals are used to treat a number of different health conditions, including appetite loss, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, eating disorders such as anorexia; epilepsy; glaucoma.