Court sets Feb 20 to hear Sinkamba’s marijuana cultivation case
By Staff Reporter
The Court of Appeal has set February 20, 2019 to hear Green Party president Peter Sinkamba’s case seeking a licence to cultivate and market marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Sinkamba appealled against refusal by the Minister of Health to grant him a licence to import, export, production or cultivation and distribution or marketing of cannabis/marijuana pursuant to Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 22 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, Cap 95 of the Laws of Zambia.
In his affidavit in support of the appeal, Sinkamba has stated that his licence is supposed to be granted to him in default after the time lapsed for the Minister to deny him permission.
He stated that after the lapse of the statutory 60 days in which the Minister was required to respond in writing, his licence under the trade name of “Green Gold Medical Marijuana Investments (Zambia) Limited” was granted in default.
Sinkamba states in his affidavit that he intends to invest US$10 million for production of export-grade cannabis for medicinal purposes and that the project is expected to run as a pilot project for 3 years, as way to encourage individual initiatives in terms of self-reliance, promoting indigenous investment, boost youth employment, and help create wealth and prosperity in the nation— a strategy which he has termed as “Thinking-Outside-the-Box”.
He further stated that he had planned to commence the operations in June 2017, and run for 3 years up to June 2020, with the possibility of scaling up, if pilot findings showed positive outcomes.
He added that it took over 100 days without receiving a written response from the Minister besides the Ministerial Statement in Parliament of 6th of July, 2017, through which the Minister refused to grant him the licence.
He stated that the Minister’s decision was absolutely void, and of no consequence at all, in that by the time the Minister announced his decision in Parliament, according to the applicable law, his licences were deemed granted in default.
“I believe that time had run out for the respondent. By the time he closed the gate, the horses had already bolted out of the stable,” Sinkamba stated in his affidavit.