African countries are now looking at the bigger picture in terms of Cannabis cultivation. What was once looked at as a drug for abuse, is proving to be more than meets the eyes, as an insatiable demand across the world for its medicinal purpose has made Zambia join into the footsteps of Uganda to cultivate the drug for commercial purposes.
The government of Zambia has finally approved a proposal to legalize the production of Marijuana but has restricted it to exports and for medical purposes only. The licenses will be issued by the Ministry of Health while the growth of the crop will be strictly supervised by the Zambia National Service. Only successful bidders will be issued with commercial licenses to grow and trade in Marijuana for exports and the companies wishing to trade in Marijuana in Zambia will be charged US$250,000 annual license fees.
Africa’s legal cannabis industry could be worth more than $7.1 billion annually by 2023 if legislation is introduced in some of the continent’s major markets, according to research from The African Cannabis Report, the first detailed report on the legal cannabis industry in Africa. While African cannabis industries have great potential, cannabis remains illegal in a majority of countries except in Lesotho.
Kenya is looking into the direction of licensing Marijuana, for commercial purposes without limiting its cultivation for export purposes only. Interested parties are fighting hard to see this venture materialize in a petition seeking to remove the control of licensing of cannabis cultivation from the control of the Ministry of Interior and have it under the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. In the petition, the Ministry of Health through the Pharmacy and Poisons Board is compelled to develop procedures and guidelines for licensing of marijuana.