Uganda has reportedly moved one step closer to exporting its medical cannabis, with the European Union signing off the country’s products.
That’s according to the Daily Monitor, which reported Monday that a team of EU inspectors deployed from the Netherlands to the Ugandan capital of Kampala issued a certificate of compliance to Industrial Globus Uganda Ltd.
The certificate, which is valid from August 6, 2019-August 5, 2020, opens the door for the company to begin exporting its cannabis-based products.
Benjamin Cadet, a director for Industrial Globus Uganda, confirmed the approval.
“Control Union Certifications is the EU-mandated body for certification of the medical cannabis,” Cadet said, as quoted by the Monitor. “Now that [the] EU has approved our products—the medical marijuana exports and the entire manufacturing chain—from planting to harvest, we are going to export medical marijuana products made in Uganda to European markets.”
The Ugandan government has been re-evaluating its policies on the production and exportation of cannabis as it looks to join other countries in capitalizing on the burgeoning marijuana industry. According to the Daily Monitor, “at least 50 companies” have applied to join Industrial Globus Uganda Ltd. in the cultivation of medical cannabis. The government is reportedly reviewing these applications as it studies the economic benefits of cannabis.
But the EU’s approval this week signals that it may be a matter of when, not if, the Ugandan government fully embraces medical cannabis. In April, the country secured contracts to export medical marijuana to Germany and Canada. Cadet said at the time that his company, which is working jointly with a company based in Israel, had received at least 20,000 orders for Ugandan cannabis from pharmacies throughout Germany and Canada.
But even as Uganda wades into the cannabis market, Ugandan laws prohibiting marijuana use—both recreationally and medicinally—may be slower to change. Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni has lamented the permitting of marijuana cultivation there and has said that cannabis use is “satanic and will kill the future of our children.”
While countries throughout Europe—as well as cities and states across the United States—continue to open the doors for recreational and medical marijuana use, African governments have been more resistant to change. Zimbabwe, which last year became just the second African country to legalize medical marijuana, announced earlier this month that it is repealing laws prohibiting the production of cannabis as the economically troubled country looks to hemp to replace tobacco as its leading crop export.