Government has suspended the license issued to an Israeli firm, Together Pharma to grow medical marijuana in Uganda.
The state minister of Finance and Investment, Evelyn Anite announced the decision this morning, saying the Health minister has been tasked to research on the matter and report back.
According to Anite, the prime minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has called an expert’s meeting to discuss the issue next week.
"Yesterday, when I learnt that my in backyard we had licensed, I quickly made phone call and said we have to hold the license until cabinet disposes off this subject, until proper regulation is put in place and then we’ll be able to move." said Anite.
Last week, URN published a story indicating that Industrial Globus Pharma Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of Together Pharma had secured license from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) on March 18, 2019 to grow medical marijuana in the country.
Emely Kugonza , the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) board chairperson, said they issued the license after the company secured approvals from different government agencies and ministries including Internal Affairs and National Drug Authority (NDA).
"A company by the name of Industrial Globus Pharma Uganda Limited was licensed to actually grow medical cannabis for export in Kasese, Busongora county…Now this is for export and this was after a due process because Uganda Investment Authority’s mandate is to license investors but there are other agencies of government that are responsible for the various due diligence and requirements that must be fulfilled." said Kugonza.
The Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Kahinda Otafiire wrote to Together Pharma early this year, assuring the company that government wouldn’t hesitate to approve its request to grow medical marijuana. Health minister, Jane Aceng said a fortnight ago that cabinet wants assurances from the company that growing medical marijuana wouldn’t have a negative impact on the economy.
The National Drug Policy and Authority Act, 1993 provides that “No person shall, without the written consent of the Health minister… cultivate any plant from, which a narcotic drug can be extracted”.