Prohibition Partners/ACA Group
21 December 2022 at 08:00:00
The Global Cannabis Report says that over the next few years, Uganda is a market worth watching as it has clearly demonstrated an ability to meet international import standards. However, the industry is limited in that only one export license has been granted – to the local subsidiary of Israeli multinational Together Pharma.
Under The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 2015, and approved guidelines in 2020, Uganda established a legal framework for the cultivation, processing and export of medical cannabis under the Ministry of Health.
However, to date, only one company has been granted a licence and has begun exporting; Industrial Globus. The company is a joint venture between a Ugandan company founded in 2012, Industrial Hemp Pty Ltd. and an Israeli based cannabis company, Together Pharma.
Industrial Globus has seen meaningful traction since being granted its licence in 2018, having exported over three tonnes of cannabis flower to Israel, Germany and most recently, the UK.
This has been facilitated through its strategic partnership with German based, Cantourage. Industrial Globus cultivates under good agricultural and collection practice (GACP), where further processing is done under GMP in the respective import markets.
Although Industrial Globus has put Uganda on the map as a reputable cannabis supplier, it's unclear when guidelines for cannabis licensing will be finalised in Uganda, with current proposed guidelines being uncompetitive.
The latest draft guidelines state that applicants for licences require US$5 million in capital on hand, and a bank guarantee for US$1.1 million to qualify. Other measures include the requirement for facilities to be further than 15 miles away from any schools, which poses a challenge for operators looking to be close to critical infrastructure.
Uganda’s political establishment also seems divided on further liberalising cannabis activity in the East African country.
Uganda’s First Lady, Janet Musaveni, is famously quoted as describing cannabis as, ‘The devil’s plant’.
Over the next few years, Uganda is a market worth watching as it has clearly demonstrated an ability to meet international import standards, but the government needs to capitalise on the traction gained to date.