Malawi Parliament on Thursday approved the drafting of a bill which will seek to legalise industrial hemp.
Independent Member of Parliament for Ntchisi North Boniface Kadzamira moved a motion for the drafting of the Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation Bill which will seek to legalise industrial hemp which is viewed as a source of a national.
“That considering the commercial viability of medicinal cannabis cultivation, this House resolves that the Honourable Member for Ntchisi North, be allowed to draft and present a Bill in the House, whose objective would be to distinguish the criminalised Indian hemp from medicinal cannabis and further to regularise medicinal cannabis cultivation, production, possession, use and distribution so that only licensed farmers in Malawi should be allowed to grow the same under specified rules and regulations,” says the motion read in Parliament.
When the motion was opened for debate, Minister of Agriculture Joseph Mwanamvekha said the motion should be deferred to allow government to continue research on the same.
However, other members argued that there is already enough research on the ground regarding cultivation of medicinal cannabis and advised government to work with Kadzamira to draft the Bill.
In 2015, government gave a company called Invergrow the blessings to research the viability of industrial hemp as a cash crop. The company hopes to start processing hemp in 2019