President Lazarus Chakwera says the prohibitive cannabis license fees should be revisited to allow Malawians to be involved in the production of the crop.
Chakwera made the remarks when he went to Parliament to answer questions from Members of Parliament.
There have been concerns over the fees for licenses related to cannabis. The Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) whose board Chakwera instituted last year set US$10,000 (about K8 million) fee for medicinal cannabis cultivation and US$2,000 (about K1.6 million) for cultivation of industrial hemp.
Member of Parliament for Lilongwe South Peter Dimba asked Chakwera about the prohibitive fees for entering the Cannabis sector considering that government is also looking for alternatives to tobacco.
In response, Chakwera said Malawi cannot allow citizens to be spectators of the Cannabis industry hence the prohibitive fees should be revisited.
“This is not just meant for those outside to come and invest and if there are fees that are prohibitive, revisit them. This the house that does these things.
“I call on all of you to make sure that we pass laws that are good for Malawians and not just specific individuals,” said Chakwera.
Legislator for Mzimba Solola MP Jacob Hara also asked Chakwera how he will ensure that the budget formulation and Ministries, Departments and Agencies align themselves to the national agenda and vision.
Chakwera said in response that taxation measures that will be introduced in the next budget will focus on creation of jobs through incentives for private sector, creation of wealth through incentives for production and on food security.
He added that his administration will push for amendment to political parties act to include a clause that requires all political parties to articulate in their manifestos which priorities from the Vision 2063 they will propose to implement every five years and how they propose to do so whether in government or opposition.
“This will ensure that party manifestos, State of Nation Addresses and budgets are aligned with the collective quest for Malawi to become a middle-income country,” said Chakwera.