Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) believes that cannabis farming industry will help to boost the economy more than other cash crops in the country.
Speaking to the journalists on Friday in Lilongwe Cannabis Regulatory Authority Chairperson, Boniface Kadzamira, said, “Malawi has for quite a long time depended on two or three cash crops that is: tobacco, tea and sugar, but if we manage the cannabis industry well as it required it can help to supplement the other cash crops.”
Kadzamira said that the Government of Malawi enacted a law, Regulation Act 2020 to decriminalize the cultivation, production, processing storage, distribution and use of the cannabis plant for medicinal, industrial and scientific application. The law does not in any manner advocate, authorise or promote use of cannabis for recreation purposes.
He also said the Cannabis Regulation Act 2020 make provisions that the CRA shall issue a license only to a qualifying legal person in respect of the activity for which he is licensed to do under this the Act and license shall bear particular as, prescribed in Section 27 of the Act. Based on this definition the following entities stand a chance to be awarded a license upon meeting all the requirements: farming organizations, co-operatives, corporate companies and corporate partnerships.
He said, “In application forms it clearly states what they are supposed to do, we believe that whoever has been given the license will follow what is it written in the application because the CRA has the power to engage monitors as well as experts to make sure that the applicants are adhering to the requirements of the industry.”
” So if there are some people who stay in their homes without doing anything they don’t have a chance as the moment we start monitoring and moving around and we discover that they are doing nothing, we have got powers through the director general to revoke the license. Thus, if they do nothing with their licenses we will revoke it.”
Kadzamira also mentioned that the lifespan of the license is 12 months though it is renewable. But if applicants will apply for renewal after the expiry of their license the board will not renew it. The board also believes that the successful applicants will accomplish much with their licenses.
He added that as the regulator they already asked their secretariat to come up with awareness and sensitization programmes for the people to know the variety of cannabis that have been approved by the government and also to help them to understand the industry and how it is to be managed.
In his remarks Director General, Dr Ketulo Salipira, said CRA needs to identify markets for their people because as of now they are depending on what the applicants wrote. They were to indicate in their applications if they have off takers or buyers and those companies that have been awarded the license indicated this.
He also encouraged Malawians to be the first to venture into cannabis industry rather than waiting for foreigners to venture into the industry.
Salipira added that the cannabis industry will also help to create job opportunities because it is only farmers’ organization, cooperatives and companies that were warded the the licenses to venture into the industry.
Out of the 41 farmers organization, cooperatives, corporate companies and corporate partnership that applied for cannabis industry license, only 35 have approved and 6 of them were turned down.
Those approved include: Medigrow, Malawi Mangoes (MM), Africa Gold Ltd, Ortusol, Inegrow ltd, SADM, Tilimenawo Cannabis Club, Unity cooperatives, Banana 2007, He pharmaceuticals, ARET, Cannasun Ltd, SABA agro Ltd, Silelela commodities Ltd, Lesta international, Profix Eco-Industries Ltd, Bio Sil Technology Africa Ltd, B&M Landscaping & General ,Greenaway, Med-Can Ltd, Organic Cannabis Farmers Cooperatives, Kuwala Agricultural Ltd, Prime Pharmaceuticals, Mbelwa Investment Ltd, Pharmanova ,Dynamic Traders, Capital Food Ltd, Bio- Lab Agriculture, Milanzi holdings, Pollen farm Ltd, Women of vision, Mg Labs Limited, College of Medicine and Rasmusking company Ltd.
By Dean Chisambo