The Rwandan government has approved the production and processing of medicinal cannabis for export as global market for the crop grows.
In a statement by the chief executive officer Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda is also ready to receive applications for licenses from interested investors for the high-value therapeutic crop.
“This investment framework does not affect the legal status of cannabis consumption in Rwanda, which remains prohibited. Medicinal cannabis produced in Rwanda is solely for export markets. Rwanda is a signatory to all relevant UN conventions relating to narcotics, and will continue to ensure full compliance with international law,” adds a statement by Clare Akimanzi, the CEO Rwanda Development Board.
A cabinet meeting held on Monday approved regulatory guidelines which establish quality standards, the requirements for licenses and permits, as well as strict security measures designed to prevent any illicit diversion or use of the product, the statements states.
“The government of Rwanda expects the sector to generate significant export revenues and employment opportunities in high-value agriculture and agro-processing. A special export levy will be introduced to incentivize domestic value addition and generate additional government revenue,” the statements further adds.
In January this year, the Ugandan government approved the growing of medicinal cannabis but within set guidelines, among which was that companies seeking to grow or export cannabis for medical purposes present minimum capital of $5m (UGX18.3 billion) and a bank guarantee of UGX4 billion.
This is in addition to tax clearance certificates from the Uganda Revenue Authority, valid trading license, and evidence of value addition to cannabis and audited accounts, among others.
As of last year, Barclays Bank had estimated the global cannabis market to be worth $150bn (£116bn).