Cannabis export could greatly benefit Sri Lankan economy

Right now, cannabis cultivation is prohibited in Sri Lanka, except for use in indigenous medicine, although that, too, is under strict State control. However, Sri Lanka's economy could greatly benefit from legalizing and exporting cannabis. 

On November 30, the Lankan Minister of Indigenous Medicine, Sisira Jayakody, told parliament that the government has decided to introduce a law within three months which will allow the cultivation of cannabis both for the manufacture of medicines locally and for export.

According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s external debt increased to US $50 billion in the second quarter of 2021 from US $47 billion in the first quarter of 2021. Its foreign reserves are now down to US $2.3 billion.

While there have been calls to legalize cannabis cultivation in the country since many Western nations have lifted the ban, Sri Lankan religious leaders have strongly protested. In 2020, Ven. Dhammalankara Thera (chief prelate of Kotte Sri Kalayani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha of Siyam Maha Nikaya) said that lifting the ban will lead to a “national problem.”

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