Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has rejected an application by a foreign company to put up a marijuana factory in the country.
Speaking on Friday, Matiang’i said he had received an application from a company seeking to grow and process cannabis in Kenya for pharmaceutical use.
CS Matiang’i stated that the government would not accept such investments that could pose danger to Kenyan youth.
"We have an application on my desk right now by some lunatic who's saying they need a license to build a factory in Kenya that processes cannabis for pharmaceutical use," noted Matiang'i.
“I agreed with my PS [Karanja Kibicho] on Thursday that we won't even respond to that letter. We want him to make an advance and we will seek him out. We must protect our children,” Matiang'i asserted.
The company is believed to be GoIP Global Inc., a US-based company that had in March announced it had obtained a permit from the Kenya government to grow marijuana on a 500-acre farm.
The company revealed the news to its shareholders in a statement dated March 7th.
“After visiting Kenya and meeting with officials in the country, I am very excited about the prospects this agreement (license) brings to our company. This is the first of several critical transactions that will transform GoIP into a relevant member of the burgeoning cannabis industry,” the company's chairman Ike Sutton said.
“The lease term will be for 25 years and Kenya being on the Equator provides the best conditions for all-year-round production."
However, Kenyan authorities denied issuing such a license, stating that marijuana remains a banned substance in the country’s laws.
“I am not aware of the licensing of the said firm to grow marijuana. As you are aware, cannabis is not in the list of crops that we currently regulate,” said Agricultural Research Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga.
Boga explained that the law must be amended to allow cultivation of cannabis in the country.
The US company said the crop grown in Kenya would be for export to European Union countries and Canada, where demand for cannabis for medicinal and leisure purposes have been on the rise.