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Malawi cultivation license to cost US$10 000 – over 100 applications

A cannabis cultivation license in Malawi will cost you US$10 000 (7,6 m Kwacha). That’s the bottom line for investors following the gazetting on 20 November 2020 of regulations governing the cultivation and distribution of cannabis products.

Malawi cannabis cultivation licence
Boniface Kadzamira: the new man in control Malawi’s cannabis industry

Overwhelming Responses to to cost of Malawi’s cultivation license ($10000)

New Cannabis Regulatory Authority chairman, Boniface Kadzamira says Malawi is now seriously open to business and over 100 foreign investors have contacted his office.

“We have received an overwhelming response in terms of applications for licences, but applicants must appreciate that we’ll not give everyone a licence at once,” he told Reuters News Agency.

Malawi hopes hemp will make up for tobacco losses

Kadzamira is clear that Malawi’s focus will be on hemp cultivation, which he hoped would replace tobacco as a main export earner. Tobacco prices fell through the floor this year, dropping over 25%, prompting anxiety in the capital Blantyre.

“Our view as regulator is that if we get honest investors, the hemp industry can supplement export revenues from tobacco, and in some cases, surpass it. But it will not immediately replace tobacco.”

According to the regulations:

  • An application to process cannabis will cost US$10,000 
  • Industrial hemp processing licenses will cost US$5,000.
  • A growing license without processing will cost US$1,000;
  • A growing license for industrial hemp will cost US$500;
  • A licence to store cannabis is pegged at US$500;
  • A licence to transport cannabis will cost US$2,800;
  • Private hospitals, they will pay US$500 to administer cannabis as drug;
  • Government hospitals required to pay US$200 for the same purpose.


Hello everybody, welcome to Malawi’s legal cannabis industry


Strict compliance measures, recreational use still outlawed

Oversight of Malawi’s marijuana industry will be vested with the Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) which will grant licences to cultivate, process, store, sell, export, and distribute cannabis as well as grant permits to conduct scientific research.

  • Licencees will be required to comply with CRA’s security measures regarding cultivation, processing, storage, sale, exportation, and distribution of cannabis.
  • Cannabis will also be grown under strict production practices, among them non-involvement of children, preservation of the natural environment, and compliance with quality standards regarding soil, fertilisers, and pesticides used in the crops;
  • Qualified patients in the medicinal cannabis programme will be issued Registry Identification Cards. 
  • The CRA will appoint inspectors to check compliance and enforcement of the Cannabis Regulation law.
  • The distribution of cannabis to patients will take place in the presence of Malawi’s inspectors and police officers.
  • Cultivating, processing, or distributing cannabis in contravention of the law will be an offence liable to financial sanctions and to imprisonment for up to 25 years.
  • Refusing to produce the documentation required to enter the medical cannabis programme or making false statements will be an offence liable to financial sanctions and imprisonment for up to five years.
  • Hemp cultivation is allowed with up to 1.0% THC. This means that it’s over the 0.2% allowed in cannabis applications by current EU standards, but follows in line with other countries that have more recently set their THC limit higher.


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