This was disclosed by Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz during his contribution to the 2016/17 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday.
He noted that in 2015, Forbes Magazine reported that up to US$1.9 billion worth of cannabis was sold in the United States for medical use, adding that this is expected to climb to US$8 billion by 2018.
He said there is room for innovators and investors to establish medical dispensaries, legal recreational retailers, edible and infused products, hemp products and various spin-offs such as financial services for cannabis businesses, transport and security, and consulting services for setting up businesses.
“With the establishment of the Cannabis Licensing Authority, we may now have one of the best opportunities to enter huge new markets for start-ups,” he said.
The CLA was established to regulate the local cannabis industry.
The authority has powers to make regulations for the procedures and criteria for applying for licences and permits, as well as other authorisations for cultivation, processing, distribution, sale and other handling of ganja for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes.