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He said Green Quest Pharmaceuticals is looking for 50 000 hectare of land to grow the industrial hemp used in the manufacturing of certain goods including clothes as well as medicine.

“Everyone should be allowed to grow cannabis without any legal impingements from a small one hectare to 101 hectare of land,” he said.

The cannabis investor said industrial hemp can take over tobacco as the largest forex earner, saying tobacco is now facing smoky future whilst cannabis faces bright future in investments.

Macntosh said currently, cannabis is a US$7 billion investment worldwide, saying within a year, it is expected to grow to US$10 billion.

Ntchisi north MP Boniface Kadzamira said although parliament legalized the testing of industrial hemp, which have since been done at Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe and Chitala in Salima, cannabis remains illegal in Malawi.

He said to push the legalization on fast track, the government can put in regulations to allow people grow industrial hemp and investors get licence to buy the cannabis from Malawian farmers.

While cultivation or selling of cannabis sativa is prohibited by law, government says the industrial hemp will help boost the economy.

Industrial hemp and marijuana are from the same family of crops but industrial hemp does not contain the psychoactive chemical agents found in marijuana.

Meanwhile, Invegrow Limited, a company that was established in 2013 designed to grow and process Industrial Hemp in the country, plans to start commercial growing of the crop this year.

The firm, which has been working with government to research the viability of hemp as a commercial crop, has started mobilising resources for its factory in Lilongwe.

“Industrial hemp has more economic opportunities as we will be extracting the oil for fibre from the seed and produce oil products and it is also edible,” said Director at Invegrow Limited, Nebert Nyirenda, who adds that last year, the company imported body wash, shampoo and face wash with hemp seed oil just to give Malawians a feel of the products from Industrial Hemp.

Source: https://allafrica.com/stories/201810300837.html