The Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) has called for the creation of structured markets for cannabis growers in the country.
CRA board chairperson Boniface Kadzamira made the call in Lilongwe on Monday during Cannabis Licence-holder's Engagement meeting for the Central Region growers.
He said growing of medicinal and industrial hemp would be most effective if there are structured markets in place so that growers are able to sell their products.
Kadzamira pointed out that once growers have access to structured markets that lead to steady markets of their products, the industry stands a chance to grow.
"We need to find our own markets within or outside the country. We need to work with the government to develop such markets instead of depending on the promises by investors willing to buy our products. If we will not have structured markets, it will be no work done," he added.
The CRA board chairperson said universities and research institutes should start working on the local variety to see how effective it could be in the country since it would be in the same family of medicinal hemp.
Kadzamira said local varieties have proven to be marketable and fetch more money in European and overseas markets.
He said the country would have cannabis products in the next six months since the growers are going to plant in the coming rainy season.
"We are growing foreign varieties of cannabis but we need to move and develop our own varieties which should be accessible to all growers. We have huge potential with our own varieties which are marketable," Kadzamira said.
Acting Director General for CRA, Ketulo Salipira, said before awarding a licence to a cooperative, the latter needs to develop a clear business plan on how they would conduct their business.
He added that the cooperative leadership needs to be cleared by Police to ensure that they have no criminal record regarding dangerous drugs before.
A member of Monkey Bay Cooperative, Beatrice Mwale, said cannabis growing has provided an opportunity for small holders to work in groups.
She said the crop looks promising to the growers and that investors are keen to buy the products for sale on the local and international markets.
"We stand a very good chance of improving our economic status as farmers if we can handle it well to our advantage by using the available openings and opportunities at stake," Mwale added.
Source: Nyasatimes