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Chamal Rajapaksa shoots down Bandula’s idea to export Cannabis

ECONOMYNEXT- Minister Chamal Rajapaksa is saying that he will not allow local cultivation of cannabis and manufacture of cannabis-related products for export purposes, an idea mooted by Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena.

Answering questions from the Opposition in Parliament today, Rajapaksa who Minister of Irrigation and State Minister of Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management, said “perhaps you should direct that question to the Trade Minister, but I will not allow it.”

Opposition MP Hesha Withanage had asked whether the government is trying to strengthen the economy through exporting cannabis as proposed by the Trade Minister.

Last Month Trade Minister Gunawardena proposed that locally cultivated cannabis should be used as an item for value addition in the export industry.

“We should lift the ban on Kansa (Cannabis) cultivation. It should be cultivated under controlled measures to be used solely for value addition in the export industry. We have to go for export diversification and think of market diversification without depending solely on western countries to purchase our goods,” the minister said at a forum of exporters last month.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said in Parliament that the government is taking a tough stance against those promoting the legalization of Marijuana and that legal action will be taken against the campaign to promote Cannabis.

He also said that through the National Policy for Prevention and Control of Drugs and the national initiatives by the government to control drugs, no opportunity has been given to legalizing cannabis. (Colombo/Oct09/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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