Opening up a new chapter in the Sri Lanka medical agro exports sector and adding another new product to the Sri Lanka export basket, the government has given the approval to allow cannabis growing in special export processing zones under BOI with full-fledged security, and to adopt greenhouse technology.

Under the direction of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, a high powered Parliamentary Committee including senior officials from President’s Office, Defence Ministry, Finance Ministry, Justice Ministry, Plantation Ministry, Health Ministry, State Ministry of Tourism, State Ministry of Indigenous Medicine and Board Of Investment (BOI) has been established in October 2022 to legalise cannabis as an export product to overcome the deep recession and relieve the long-suffering nation with enormous economic hardships.


kllanxnsnbs89 “After a series of meetings and observations over the past 21 months by the said Parliamentary Committee and a number of subsequent sub committees, finally its done,” said Dr. Arosha Fernando, Member of the Parliamentary Committee to legalise Cannabis as an export product.


Accordingly, the project proposals were called jointly by the Ministry of Investment Promotion and Ministry of Health to be submitted by July 10 where the said project proposals will be evaluated in accordance with the Ayurveda Act No. 31 of 1961 and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Law No. 04 of 1978 and applicable ancillary laws.

The investment proposals need to include information to assess the financial feasibility and technical and practical viability of the project and basic requirements are application fee of USD 400, project evaluation fee of USD 1,250, security deposit of USD 2 million for the duration of the project, initial license fee of USD 100,000 and annual renewal fee of USD 200 thereafter, and minimum investment for the project implementation USD 500,000.

The export community in Sri Lanka and the Chambers has already hailed the move by the government of bringing such activities to legalise the export of cannabis.

“Very soon Sri Lanka too would be able to enjoy massive foreign revenue from its exports and would hopefully lead in solving the country’s current economic crises sooner than anticipated,” Dr. Fernando said.

‘World’s Top Exporters’ say that cannabis oils exported by all countries totaled US$ 2.9 billion in 2019. That was a 23.3% increase for all cannabis oil exporters starting in 2015. India was the second largest exporter with US$ 320.8 million (11.1% share) in revenue, after China, which exported US$ 964 million (33.4% share) in 2019.

Some smaller countries’ export growth had been many times higher. For example: Vietnam (up 529.5%), Madagascar (up 232.2%), Morocco (up 218.1%) and Netherlands (up 124.5%), and Pakistan too allowed the cultivation of cannabis as an export crop as that country is also strapped for dollars.

The global cannabis market size was valued at USD 43.72 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 57.18 billion in 2023 to USD 444.34 billion by 2030.

(Daily News)

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