Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica says an estimated annual return of $140 million is earned from Medicinal Cannabis, once the industry is up and running.
Kamikamica said this would offset Fiji’s Balance of Trade and narrow down Fiji’s deficit.
Kamikamica also says that close to $100 million has been committed by local and overseas investors to see the project start.
Kamikamica said that Cabinet has endorsed the formation of a taskforce that will to develop the feasibility study, propose amendments to existing legislation and conduct nationwide consultation on medicinal marijuana.
In a media conference, Deputy Prime Minister Kamikamica the taskforce is spearheading a comprehensive feasibility study to establish a medicinal cannabis industry in Fiji for export to provide an opportunity for Fiji to diversify the economy and a new source of income for economic expansion – a priority of the Fiji Government.
Kamikamica said the taskforce will include the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs, Biosecurity, Police and Investment Fiji.
“Government is encouraging a collective effort to amplify and encourage valuable contributions to achieve this vision. The Government wants to see this initiative not only promote diversification in the economy but also unlock potential and generate new avenues for growth and Fiji,” he added.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government wants to emphasize that the establishment of a medicinal cannabis industry in Fiji will be limited to exportation only and will not affect the domestic prohibition or legality of cannabis cultivation, distribution and abuse in Fiji.
Kamikamica added that the intention is to allow reputable existing operators to build a ring-fenced confined extraction and manufacturing facility in Fiji to facilitate the process of ensuring Fiji can deliver value-add medicinal products for export only.