Sri Lanka has finished drafting its laws for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. Indigenous Medicine Minister Sirira Jayakody. announced that they will soon be submitted for Cabinet approval.
“Cannabis falls under Ayurveda (indigenous medicine) law,” Minister Jayakody told reporters. “It is a subject that falls under the department of Ayurveda. »
“We have to handle this with discipline. We cannot allow its use for recreational purposes. But we can use cannabis and cannabis extracts for medical purposes.
“There is also a strong export demand,” he said, estimating that the country could earn up to 3 billion euros per year from exports.
“We have drawn up the legal provisions. In a few days, we will present them to the government. »
In 2017, Sri Lanka announced plans to establish a 400-hectare cannabis plantation near Ingiriya, to supply cannabis to Ayurvedic practitioners, and potentially for the export of cannabis remedies to the United States.
Cannabis for therapeutic use is already sold in Sri Lanka in Ayurveda shops. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Health is today the only legal source of cannabis which procures the drug mainly during police raids on illegal shipments. The cannabis thus distributed is often of poor quality.
The only practitioners who are legally authorized to sell cannabis are Ayurvedic practitioners, whose number is estimated at around 16,000. Its medical use is not penalised.
The country has a long history of cannabis use and cultivation. As early as 1860, the island under British control was already producing cannabis on a massive scale, which was exported to China along with opium.