Last month, the Taliban in Afghanistan declared in a series of tweets that it hired Cpharm, an Australian firm, to farm and manufacture marijuana products. The company denied its involvement with the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs after being made aware of the announcement from local media reports.
The Taliban officials later clarified that they were doing business with a separate German company.
A tweet from the Afghan Ministry of Affairs said that a company called Cpharm agreed to make a hefty investment of over $400 million to set up a marijuana production facility in the country.
The ministry tweeted that the endeavor “will be officially launched soon, and hundreds of people will get job opportunities.”
Although, after media groups started reporting that the Australian company Cpharm was involved, the firm late said it had no idea what the Taliban was talking about.
In a press release, the company said, “We have become aware overnight of numerous media articles that Cpharm in Australia has been involved in a Deal with the Taliban to be involved in the supply of cannabis in a cream. We DO NOT manufacture or supply anything. We provide a medical advice service to the pharmaceutical industry within Australia. We have no products on the ARTG. We have no connection with cannabis or the Taliban. We have no idea where the Taliban media release has come from and want to assure everyone that it should not be connected to Cpharm Pty Ltd Australia.”
A spokesperson for the Taliban, Qari Saeed Khosty, which came into power this summer following the U.S. military withdrawal, tweeted on Thursday, November 25, to clarify that the deal was with a German company.
Per the translated tweet, “Yesterday, officials from the Ministry of Interior’s Counter-Narcotics Department met with a representative of the company (Cpharm).”
The tweet continues, “The company wants to build a cannabis processing plant in Afghanistan, which will create all cannabis products.” The Taliban spokesperson added, “In Afghanistan, only this company will be legally contracted; by establishing this factory, Cpharm Company will use cannabis produced in Afghanistan to make spices and a kind of cream.”
He noted that the agreement will “create jobs for many citizens.”
Not long after the Taliban came into power, the Associated Press reported secret raids where the Taliban threatened drug users with violence if they did not agree to enter into rehabilitation treatment. People in that region could get in trouble if found with plastic containers holding drugs.
The Taliban also prohibited the manufacture of opium before the U.S. military invasion in 2001.
However, for marijuana, Al Arabiya reported that the plant acts as a significant source of revenue for Taliban insurgents during the U.S. occupation.
A study from the Global Cannabis Report shows that global cannabis sales are projected to double by 2025.