Al Arabiya News says the Taliban claimed they have signed a deal with Australian company Cpharm that wants to set up a cannabis processing center in Afghanistan.

Taliban Press Director Qari Saeed Khosty said a contract had reportedly been signed and the project “will be up and running within days” 

Khosty said that the company, which produces medicinal cannabis cream, would be given access to thousands of acres of Afghan cannabis cops.  

Afghanistan’s deputy counternarcotics minister on November 23 reportedly met with a representative of Cpharm, who pledged a US$450 million investment for the project, Pajwhok Afghan News said on November 24.  

However, the Australian company later made a statement to Reuters strongly denying any deals made with the Taliban.

Reuters reported on November 25 that a small Australian medical consulting firm got caught up in an unexpected publicity storm on Thursday after being wrongly named as agreeing with Afghanistan's ruling Taliban to bankroll a $450 million hashish processing plant in Afghanistan.