Sri Lanka to ex­port cannabis

The Phnom Penh Post - - BUSINESS -

SRI Lanka is to launch its first of­fi­cial cannabis plan­ta­tion to sup­ply the tra­di­tional medicine mar­ket and ex­port to the United States, the health min­is­ter said yes­ter­day.

Ra­jitha Se­naratne said the 40-hectare cannabis farm, which could pro­duce more than 25 tonnes a year and would be un­der mil­i­tary pro­tec­tion, would en­sure a reg­u­lar high qual­ity sup­ply.

“Many ayurvedic doc­tors have com­plained that they don’t get good qual­ity cannabis for their prepa­ra­tions,” Se­naratne told re­porters. “Good cannabis is a vi­tal in­gre­di­ent in the prepa­ra­tion of tra­di­tional medicine.”

He said the tra­di­tional herbal medicine mar­ket cur­rently de­pends on hand­outs from courts which seize il­le­gally grown or smug­gled drugs.

“By the time our na­tive doc­tors get this cannabis, it is about four to five years old and it has lost its ef­fec­tive­ness,” Se­naratne said.

He said the govern­ment ex­pected to ex­port the sur­plus from its pro­posed farm at In­giriya, 60 kilo­me­tres south­east of Colombo.

“I am told there is a high de­mand in the US and sev­eral other coun­tries. Cannabis is used by the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try in the man­u­fac­ture of tran­quilis­ers and painkillers.”

Smok­ing and possess­ing cannabis is il­le­gal in Sri Lanka.

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