Kali Kotoski and Cheng Sokhorng
Cannabis plants grow in the ‘vegetation room’ at a Johnstown’s medical marijuana cultivation facility this year in New York. Drew Angerer/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Afp
With Cambodia’s traditional cash crops struggling to compete in global supply chains, the Kingdom could carve out a lucrative niche in commercial cannabis harvesting and exports – provided it acts fast to take advantage of the falling legal barriers, a Cambodia-based American innovator has argued.
Jim Plamondon, a former technical evangelist for Microsoft, said cannabis, the flowering plant that produces marijuana, was a potential goldmine for the Kingdom’s agricultural sector, which employs two-thirds of the country’s workforce.
He said US elections earlier this month were a tipping point, with more than half of the 50 US states having now legalised marijuana for medical use, such as treatment of glaucoma, and seven states legalising it for recreational use.
Cannabis legislation by the US federal government is now widely seen as inevitable, he said, which would remove the main barrier to international legislation and trade. And if the US allows marijuana imports, first movers in the market stand to reap billions.
“The key point is that after the November elections in the US, [full legalisation] is inevitable,” Plamondon said yesterday, adding that if the Kingdom acted now, it could build a world-class cannabis supply chain for export in about five years.