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Sri Lanka to hit pot of cash with weed exports

Sep 13, 2017 18:09 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's government will begin farming cannabis to ensure high quality supplies for the indigenous medicine industry as well as for lucrative exports to the US market, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

A 100-acre farm will be set up at Ingiriya in the minister’s home constituency of Kalutara district to cultivate weed which is currently illegal, the minister said adding that the decision was fuelled by a severe shortage of the narcotic that is also used as medicine.

The farm could produce over 25 tonnes a year and would be under military protection, the minister said.

He said there was also a high demand in the US for quality weed that is used in the manufacture of tranquilisers and painkillers.

The locally produced cannabis is set to give a better kick than what is produced in the US, the minister said.

Cannabis is grown extensive in Sri Lanka's southern province despite cultivation, possession and use are banned in the country.

Minister Senaratne told reporters at the post-cabinet press conference that many ayurvedic doctors had complained that they do not get good quality cannabis for their preparations.

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. (COLOMBO, Sept 13, 2017)


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