Two firms licenced to grow marijuana despite Minister Aceng’s denial

From Agencies,

Despite Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng says she has not issued any authorization for cannabis growing in Uganda, PML Daily has seen a plethora of evidence indicating that this is taking place in the country under government authorisation.

On Sunday, June 7, Dr Aceng posted: “I have seen social media posts alleging that I am in trouble over Cannabis and others saying I am dealing in cannabis. 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. I have not issued any authorization for cannabis growing in Uganda. Cabinet is yet to consider the feasibility of this. Until then, I request the population to ignore the wrong media posts and treat it baseless and malicious.”

However, this website has seen two letters from Internal Affairs minister Gen Jejje Odong showing that two companies, Prime Ranchers Ltd and Urban Properties Ltd, are growing marijuana under the supervision of government agencies such as police.

In one of the letters dated August 21, 2019, Gen Odongo writes to Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth-Ochola, telling him to supervise Urban Properties Ltd which he says is growing marijuana in Amuru, and Prime Ranchers which is growing the same crop in Luweero.

In other letter dated September 3, Gen Odongo urges minister Aceng to grant licences to the two companies.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2015, allows cultivation, production and exportation of medical marijuana and mandates the Health minister to issue written consent for medical marijuana.

The minister has already drawn guidelines on marijuana growing which are awaiting Cabinet approval.

Individuals and companies seeking to grow or export marijuana for medical purposes will be required to present minimum capital of $5m (Shs18.3b) and a bank guarantee of Shs4b.

Investors will also be required to present 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.

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