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Fiji Islands: Government considers cultivation and export of medicinal cannabis to revitalize economy

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The Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji, Manoa Kamikamica, announced that the government is considering approving the cultivation of medicinal cannabis to revitalize the country's economy, which is still suffering the side effects of the Covid pandemic. “Relying solely on tourism is not sustainable for our economy,” said Kamikamica, in a statement published on government website. “We must explore new ways to generate income and diversify our economy. One promising area we are considering is the cultivation of medical cannabis. However, I want to be clear: this does not mean that cannabis will be legal in Fiji,” said Kamikamica.

During a “talanoa” session (which in Fiji means open dialogue without any predetermined expectations of agreement) held in the village of Naboutini, Serua, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica, discussed the government's plan to explore the cultivation of medicinal cannabis.

Kamikamica stressed that any potential cultivation would take place in controlled environments, ensuring limited access and strict compliance with regulations. The government initiative does not, however, support the recreational use of cannabis. Rather, it aims to explore the economic potential of medical cannabis, a thriving global industry estimated at $30 billion in turnover.

“It is essential to understand that this effort will be strictly regulated and confined to secure facilities. There will be no local sales or marketing; instead, the products will be harvested, processed and exported,” Kamikamica clarified.

According to the Fiji government website, the government's initiative has already attracted the interest of large pharmaceutical companies, with at least two expressing their intention to establish operations in the Islands. One of these companies is not only interested in medicinal cannabis, but also in exploring the potential of traditional Fijian medicine, known as 'Wai Vaka Viti', for international markets.

“This initiative goes beyond simply generating income; it is an opportunity to create jobs, strengthen our economy and potentially improve the lives of those in need”, said Kamikamica, referring to the benefits of cannabis in patients with various pathologies.

To ensure transparency and understand the position of public opinion, the government will carry out consultations across the country. These discussions will allow citizens to express their opinions, concerns and suggestions, shaping the future of medical cannabis in Fiji.

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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With a degree in Journalism from the University of Coimbra, Laura Ramos has a postgraduate degree in Photography and has been a Journalist since 1998. She was a correspondent for Jornal de Notícias in Rome, Italy, and Press Advisor at the Office of the Minister of Education. She has an international certification in Permaculture (PDC) and created the street-art photographic archive “What says Lisbon?” @saywhatlisbon. Laura is currently Editor of CannaReporter and CannaZine, as well as founder and program director of PTMC - Portugal Medical Cannabis. She directed the documentary “Pacientes” and was part of the steering group of the first Postgraduate in GxP's for Medicinal Cannabis in Portugal, in partnership with the Military Laboratory and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon.

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