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Multinationals seek foothold in Rwandan cannabis export production

Four companies are in negotiation with the Rwandan authorities to invest in producing cannabis for export.  The Rwandan Development Board (RDB), which is managing the licensing process, says two European companies and two US companies have expressed interest in investing in large scale medicinal cannabis production in the central African country.

Board CEO Clare Akamanzi said it was premature to disclose the names of the companies or what sectors they operate in.  She told Reuters on 13 October 2020 that Rwanda was looking towards cannabis production to try and resuscitate the country’s economy after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. She said that the crop had the potential to generate US$10 million per hectare, far higher value than traditional crops such as coffee and tea.

The RBD said it expected “the sector to generate significant export revenues and employment opportunities in high value agriculture and agro-processing.”  

At the same time, Rwanda has reiterated that the legalization of recreational remains a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years for possession and 20 for dealing.

Rwanda’s Chef Justice, Faustin Ntezilyayo, issued a statement on 14 October 2020 to say that “the consumption of cannabis is an an offence and it will continue to be an offence”.


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