COVID-19 Halts Cannabis Investor’s Preps
One of foreign investors interested in industrial hemp production in the country says the COVID-19 outbreak has affected progress of their plans to invest in the country.
A research fellow at the Center for Bio-cultural Diversity at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, Dr. Axel klein, says the spread of the virus has put everything on hold.
“We have to look at circumstances at the moment. With the spread of the virus, everything is put on hold. That is something that we need to be aware of. Everything is suspended for the moment,” he said.
Dr. Klein told Zodiak Online from the UK which is in a lockdown that they are expecting to make progress once the virus is contained after Malawi Parliament passed a bill to legalize the crop.
“The Malawi Parliament by passing the legislation has really changed the whole context and we will move forward once things return to normal,” he said.
Dr. Klein says they are looking on the cultivation of hemp “as a new crop which is an alternative to charcoal and firewood.
“We had a number of actors in the field who were exploring hemp for medicine and fiber.
“We are now working on finding suitable strength for Malawi climatic conditions. We are working with a university in Jamaica to identify strength.”
According to energypedia.info, charcoal in Malawi is mostly unsustainably produced from live trees: “over 60% of the charcoal is made from wood originating from protected Forest Reserves and National Parks; even firewood is unsustainably collected.”
Malawi Parliament in February this year passed a legislation legalizing industrial hemp after years of heated debate on whether to or not to give the crop a nod.