TASHKENT, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade signed a memorandum with the Maltese company Melabis on the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, the state news agency UzA reported Thursday.
It is initially planned to grow medical cannabis on 500 hectares in the Sardoba district of the Syrdarya region, and the cannabis plantation will increase to 3,000 hectares in the coming three years, said the UzA, citing the regional administration's press service.
As part of the 33-million-U.S.-dollar project, a high-tech plant and laboratories for processing the raw cannabis will be built and the finished product, which will have a THC content of 0.1-0.2 percent -- suitable only for medical use -- will be exported, it added.
The climate of Central Asia is favorable for the cultivation of medical cannabis and it consumes 10 times less water than cotton -- Uzbekistan's main agricultural product.
Uzbekistan amended its laws earlier this year, allowing cannabis cultivation for medical and industrial purposes under a government license. However, any other cultivation or use of the herb is still strictly prohibited in the country. Enditem