By PETER SICHALI
CABINET has mandated the Ministry of Health to spearhead the production of marijuana for medicinal and commercial purposes, the Daily Nation has learnt.
According to details gathered, the ministry has been given the mandate to spearhead the whole process including formulation of the policy while the Ministry of Agriculture would only deal with hemp.
Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Sungawayo Zyambo, referred queries to the Ministry of Health whose spokesperson, Abel Kabalo, said the formulation of marijuana policy was being handled through a multi-sectoral approach.
Dr Kabalo said other ministries were involved but referred further queries to Chief Government spokesperson, Dora Siliya who could not be reached by press time.
“The formulation of the marijuana policy is being handled using a multi-sectoral approach, we do not want to be seen to be disorganised and therefore the Chief Government spokesperson is in a better position to deal with this matter,” Dr Kabalo said.
The Daily Nation however learnt that the Ministry of Health was now spearheading all aspects regarding marijuana production.
Earlier, Ms Siliya said the ministries involved in marijuana policy actualisation included Health, Agriculture, Home Affairs and Finance.
Several stakeholders including Secretary to Cabinet, Simon Miti, have expressed concern over the slow pace for the actualisation of the marijuana issue.
Cabinet at its 22nd special meeting on December 4, last year gave approval, to the Ministerial Technical Committee for the cultivation, processing and exporting of cannabis for economic and medicinal purposes.
Africa’s legal cannabis industry could be worth more than $7.1 billion annually by 2023 if legislation was introduced in some of the continent’s major markets.
This is according to research from The African Cannabis Report, the first detailed report on the legal cannabis industry in Africa.
By PETER SICHALI