Thursday, 11 August, 2022
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Zimbabwe gives the nod to sales of medical cannabis

Debt-ridden Zimbabwe, one of the first African countries to legalise cannabis in 2018, has finally given the go-ahead for cannabis-based medical products to be sold as it eyes the industry valued at $1.25bn.

The East African reports that the Medicines Control of Zimbabwe (MCZ) has opened applications for cannabis and hemp producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters and retail pharmacists.

Since the legalisation of cannabis in 2018, little has been done to permit commercial production of the drug. However, with the global tobacco ban lobby gaining momentum, Zimbabwe, one of the world’s leading tobacco producers, is now considering a shift to cannabis. In 2021, the country earned $819m from tobacco exports, and also exported 30 tonnes of industrial hemp to Switzerland.

The MCZ regulations will guide investments in the sector as the country, sanctioned by the West, banks on the growing global cannabis market, with industry players setting a target for tobacco farmers to ensure cannabis contributes a quarter of their income by 2025.

Earlier this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned a $27m medical cannabis farm and processing plant owned by Swiss Bioceuticals Limited. He said 57 entities had been issued cannabis production licences and 15 were already operational.

The use of cannabis for recreational purposes remains banned in Zimbabwe and thousands of people have been arrested this year for illegally cultivating the crop as the country tries to fight rampant drug abuse among young people.


The East African article – Zimbabwe okays medical cannabis sale for first time (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Zimbabwe legalises cannabis for medicinal and scientific use


Zim govt: Farm ownership guarantee to growers of medicinal cannabis


Stronger measures, tighter controls needed in Africa to curb growing tobacco use




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