Vanuatu wants to enter the global cannabis market

Vanuatu wants to enter the global cannabis market

Vanuatu is one of the first countries in the Pacific to allow companies to grow medicinal cannabis and hemp. This came after the government signed legislation regulating the importation, cultivation and manufacture of the plants.

Vanuatu’s government aims to make industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis a major export. This is intended to enter the country into the global cannabis market and the plants could potentially become important sources of income for local communities.

Companies can purchase at least five 10-year licenses, two for medicinal cannabis cultivation and three for hemp production. The purchase price is 10 million vatu ($123,000) each. In addition, companies are expected to pay a license renewal fee of 10 million vatu each year.

Medicinal cannabis is most commonly used to relieve chronic pain and has also been used to treat anxiety, cancer-related symptoms, epilepsy, insomnia, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Hemp typically contains less of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol and can be used in products such as rope, textiles, clothing, footwear, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuels.

Director-General of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Agriculture Moses Amos told local broadcaster VBTC that the policy aims to encourage foreign investment in the country.

“The government is particularly focused on alternative resources that we can use, and one of them is industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis,” he said.

“It’s a potential resource that we can take advantage of and develop to become a potential export commodity for us, while bringing in some money at the same time.”

To mitigate the risks associated with the cannabis industry, the government has said it will only grant licenses to companies with at least 10 years of experience in the field.

That means only foreign companies from countries with extensive experience in the marijuana industry are eligible.

Shortly thereafter, the government planned to amend its Dangerous Drugs Act to allow commercial cultivation of cannabis. These changes came into effect in 2021.

However, Mr. Tindall was arrested in the United States in 2019 for securities fraud, halting his company’s original plans. However, the ABC understands that after his release from prison, he still intends to return to the medical cannabis business in Vanuatu after pleading guilty.

However, the current government of Vanuatu has distanced itself from Phoenix Life Sciences.

Mr Amos, from the Agriculture Department, said the current legislation has not really been influenced by the company.

Mr. Naiu also sees potential in cannabis production for the people of Tanna.

Vanilla and coffee are the island’s main exports, but most people earn a modest income from small-scale farming and selling meat, vegetables and fruit domestically.

Mr Naiu acknowledges that cannabis could be another lucrative source of income, but he believes there are other ways the government can support local farmers.

Charlie Hermosa says Pacific countries can be at the forefront of cannabis production.

Other Pacific countries are considering following in Vanuatu’s footsteps.

The Cook Islands voted to legalize medical marijuana in a referendum in 2022, and a team of ministers was appointed to deal with the issue.

Guam became the first U.S. territory to legalize medical marijuana in 2014, and legalized the drug for recreational use in 2019.

But it took many years for local cannabis companies to get approval to grow and manufacture the plant, with the first licenses for production only being approved a few months ago.

Charlie Hermosa of Bella Wings Aviation in Guam has applied for a license to deliver cannabis using a fleet of drones.

Bella Wings Aviation in Guam uses drones to deliver cannabis to storage boxes.

Mr Hermosa said the new industry could allow Pacific companies to become global players at the forefront of cannabis production and no longer rely solely on tourism dollars.

“I think right now, with the way the world economy is working, we’re trying to position ourselves so that we can sustain economic development outside the normal channels of most of the islands,” he said.

And as more islands enter the cannabis market, Mr. Hermosa said there could be an opportunity to set up trans-Pacific deals, including with Vanuatu.


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