It’s always a pleasant surprise whenever a conservative country lets go of outdated ways of thinking and embraces cannabis for mass production. Uganda surprised fellow African nations in 2019 by becoming the fourth country to legalize the mass production and export of medical cannabis.
After a series of parliamentary debates and meetings with lobbyists, the Ugandan government approved laws for medical cannabis production. Any licensed grower that plans to set up shop in the pearl of Africa – a nickname coined by Winston Churchill, has to pay $1,000,000 to acquire a license. The government also expects each interested party to have at least $5,000,000 in the bank as reserve capital.
Why Are Big Players in The Cannabis Industry Rushing to Uganda?
In 2019, Israeli-based cannabis producer, Together Pharma became Uganda’s first commercial cannabis producer. In less than a year, at least 15 companies from the U.S.A and Europe have rushed to apply for licenses in Uganda. What makes this landlocked nation an ideal hub for cultivating medical cannabis?
1. Favorable Climate at The Equator
Countries that are positioned on the equator receive abundant sunlight for almost 12 months consistently. The warm temperatures allow cannabis plants to thrive outdoors and makes it hard for mold to grow. It’s also cost friendly compared to running indoor grow rooms.
2. A Wide Variety of Landrace Strains
Scientific research shows that landrace strains from Africa contain high amounts of THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin). Cannabis experts believe that this cannabinoid can effectively treat Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, and chronic pain.
3. Zero Government Interference
In Uganda, cannabis producers don’t have to submit samples for testing at government laboratories. Another advantage is that the license covers production and distribution of cannabis, unlike the case in America where one needs several permits for each function.
4. Easy Access to Fertile Land
The Ugandan government is keen on helping investors acquire the best land for agriculture. Companies can secure more than a hundred acres for leasing at really affordable rates compared to developed nations.
What is The Future Impact of Cannabis Legalization in Uganda?
1. Emergence of Hemp Industry
Some of the cannabis producers awaiting government approval have also expressed interest in growing hemp on large scale levels. This could position Uganda as the largest producer of hemp in Africa and boost economic growth significantly.
2. Development of New Medical Cannabis Strains Containing THCV
Cannabis producers in Uganda focus on cultivating strains that have a high amount of CBD. However, the discovery of THCV as a potent medical cannabinoid will eventually lead to the development of new medical strains. Uganda’s government has also allowed doctors to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, and chronic pain using licensed cannabis medication from Together Pharma.
3. Destigmatization of Cannabis Use
The current trend seems promising because the government is friendly towards cannabis producers looking to invest in Uganda. This will boost the demand and supply of licensed cannabis medication and in turn enlighten the society’s perception towards cannabis use.