Groups given green light for cannabis cultivation

The Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) has approved applications from 35 groups intending to cultivate, store, process and distribute cannabis.

CRA board chairperson Boniface Kadzamira said in Lilongwe today that the 35 groups have been given 86 certificates pertaining to cultivation, storage, distribution and research. Export licences are yet to be issued.

The 35 recipients of the licences include farmer organisations, cooperatives and corporate partnerships. Applications from six other groups were not approved.

The development comes months after government gazetted the Cannabis Regulation (fees) Regulations under the Cannabis Regulation Act of 2020.

In the regulations, fees for medicinal cannabis cultivation licence is pegged at US$10,000 fee while fees for cultivation of industrial hemp is US$2,000.

For every application made regarding medicinal cannabis, an applicant is required to pay US$1,000 non-refundable fee and US$500 for industrial hemp.

People who want an application to process cannabis are required to pay US$10,000 for a processing licence while for industrial hemp the fee is US$5,000.

A licence to store cannabis is pegged at US$500 while a licence to transport cannabis is at US$2,800.

For private hospitals, they will pay US$500 to for a licence administer cannabis as drug with government hospitals required to pay US$200 for the same purpose.

During the press briefing, Kadzamira said people should not focus on the exorbitant fees but on what will come out of the economic activity.

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