The State minister of Finance and Investment, Evelyn Anite, has suspended a license that Uganda Investment Authority [UIA] issued to an Israeli firm, Together Pharma, to grow medical marijuana in Uganda.
She says the licence was issued behind her back yet cabinet is still discussing proper regulation and see how to move forward.
Anite was Wednesday morning presiding over the inauguration and swearing in ceremony of Uganda Investment Authority Board of Directors at the UIA premises in Nakasero, Kampala.
The Board Members are Emily Kugonza (Chairperson), Morrison Rwakakamba, Naima Ombambasa, Fred Opolot, Gertrude Lutaya and Godfrey Byamukama Kerere.
Speaking at the event, Anite said she has tasked the Health minister Hon Jane Ruth Aceng to do more research on the matter and report back.
“When I heard about that licence, I quickly made phone call and said we have to hold the license until cabinet disposes off this subject,” Anite said.
She said Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has called an experts’ meeting to discuss the issue next week.
Emely Kugonza, the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) board chairperson, said they issued the license on March 18, 2019 after the company secured approvals from different government agencies and ministries including Internal Affairs and National Drug Authority (NDA).
Kugonza said the company was licensed to grow medical cannabis for export in Busongora County Kasese district for export and this was after a due process.
Uganda Investment Authority’s mandate is to license investors but there are other agencies of government that are responsible for the various due diligence and requirements that must be fulfilled, Kugonza explained.
The Uganda Investment Board of Directors will be tasked with attracting high quality foreign direct investment to create descent and value adding jobs for Ugandans in order to curb unemployment.
The critical assignments for the UIA Board will also include establishing and revamping Industrial and Business parks throughout the country in order to create jobs for Ugandans and also add value to locally available raw materials.
The Board of Directors is expected to create awareness of existing investment opportunities and to attract investors that can foster job creation and productivity growth in Uganda.