GREEN Party leader Peter Sinkamba has welcomed Cabinets’ approval of the introduction of Bills in Parliament to provide for cultivation, processing and exportation of cannabis for economic and medicinal purposes.
In an interview, Sinkamba, who is also Zambian Hemp Growers and Industries Association chairperson, asked government to expedite the legislation process so that cultivation can begin by October this year.
“For us, speaking from the two caps that I hold, we are very happy that the government has made the very essential step were now, the additional laws will have to be put in place to support the existing legislation on the management of cannabis such that now, you can now use it for medicinal and industrial purposes, the licencing part to come in as well. So we are happy and we only hope that the process of legislation is not going to take forever because as an association, we have already organised ourselves, we want to start cultivation by October. So we hope that government procedures will be hastened or will be fast tracked so that by October we are good to go. We don’t want to miss on this coming rainy season, we want to make sure that the next rainy season we do not just grow maize, cannabis or it’s hemp is going to be part and parcel of the crops that we are going to grow and since we have already land, we have investors who are coming to partner with us to develop this industry, we only hope that we will not be unduly delayed by the bureaucracy within government,” said Sinkamba.
On Monday, Cabinet approved, in principle, to the introduction of Bills in Parliament to provide for cultivation, processing and exportation of cannabis for economic and medicinal purposes in accordance with the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961.
Cabinet further approved the incorporation of relevant pieces of legislation aimed at domestication of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs by the introduction of an Agency which shall designate land for cultivation and issue licences to cultivators and the definition of cannabis to provide for medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp, separately.