A German company wants to invest $450 million in cannabis farms in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Cpharm, a German-based cannabis company currently operating in Australia, is looking to strike a deal with the Taliban to cultivate cannabis in Afghanistan.
Cpharm is Determined to Plant Roots in Afghanistan
The trade deal is currently on hold due to Cpharm’s founder and CEO, Werner Zimmerman, receiving death threats from European drug cartels. His long-term friend, now minister of interior of Kyrgyzstan, has offered advice against his ambitions within the region, according to Vice.
Undeterred by threats and advice against doing business in Afghanistan, Zimmerman is confident the plan to invest in the region will yield results. the company plans to use the middle-eastern nation as a base to distribute cannabis products to western European countries including Germany, which may be on the brink of legalizing the plant for adult use.
Afghanistan is an ideal country for cannabis farmers, as the plant is native to the region and can grow year-round. However, cannabis companies have largely avoided the country due to its ongoing political instability. Cpharm’s designs on the region and looming deal with the Taliban — an organization not recognized as a legitimate political party by much of Europe — did not go unnoticed, despite Cpharm’s best efforts.
“Last November, the company Chief Financial Officer, Tony Gabites publicly denied having ever connected with the Taliban and called the rumors ‘media lies,’” according to CannabisLifeNetwork.
Despite the public relations campaign in 2021 to play down the deal, recent news confirms the rumors were true.
People from the public and private sectors in Europe are also raising concerns about further legitimizing the Taliban by providing relief from sanctions through private investments.
“There is also the obvious concern that an injection of capital will enrich and empower the highly problematic Taliban regime — which is the reason why traditional aid donors have been very reluctant to return to Afghanistan since the allied withdrawal, despite the obvious needs of Afghani people,” said Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst with the Transform drug policy foundation in the UK.
Cpharm has already established a presence in countries in the region including Lesotho, Morroco Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, and Cyprus, with the project at Kazakhstan raking up over a $500 million investment.