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CANNABIS INDUSTRY 

BREAKING  NEWS

Ailing Zimbabwe Puts New Energy into Cannabis as a Forex Alternative to Tobacco

Ailing Zimbabwe Puts New Energy into Cannabis as a Forex Alternative to Tobacco

The Global Cannabis Report 2022 says Zimbabwe has renewed its focus on developing its hemp and cannabis industries as economic drivers to try and pull the country out of its financial mire and provide an alternative revenue source to tobacco exports.

Prohibition Partners/ACA Group

20 December 2022 at 08:00:00

Zimbabwe was the second African country to approve cannabis regulations in 2018, looking to gain the same commercial success as Lesotho.


As Zimbabwe’s tobacco exports continue to decline due to waning demand and market prices, Zimbabwe’s government has identified cannabis, and specifically industrial hemp, as a compelling replacement crop for the country.


Zimbabwe is Africa’s largest tobacco producer, and it exported US$515 million worth of tobacco in 2021, its largest foreign currency source. However, since legalisation, poorly designed legislation and regulations has meant that little progress has been made in the development of the sector from 2019 to 2020.


Initially cannabis regulation required licensed operators to grow on designated government land, and they were also required to cede 40% equity of their operation to the government.


This discouraged any meaningful progress in the industry. In 2021, regulations were amended to make investment in the cannabis industry more competitive, mainly focused on allowing 100% ownership, and cultivation at an appropriate location of the applicant’s choice.


These changes were instrumental in kickstarting the industry, and in recent years, we’ve begun to see a number of licensed producers raise capital, build facilities and begin to export.


Zimbabwean cannabis companies have exported hemp to Switzerland, with an estimated 30 tonnes being sold in 2021 according to the Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust.


To date, medical cannabis flower exports remain limited. As of October 2022, the government has issued 57 licences.


The cost of a licence in Zimbabwe is approximately US$50,000 and is valid for five years. The licence requires a US$15,000 annual renewal fee. Research licences cost US$15,000 and require a US$2,500 annual renewal fee.


Unlike South Africa, cannabis operators can be granted a licence before building their facility, making it easier to enter the industry. However, licence application and renewal fees are high, relative to other African countries such as South Africa, where the cost is only US$1,750.


The cannabis industry is currently regulated by the Department of Health, but various other departments are involved in setting regulations. Regulated products include; plants, dried flower, oils and seeds. Zimbabwe recently gazetted regulations for the growing, processing and the supply of industrial hemp for local farmers.


With Zimbabwe’s economy continuing to struggle from low growth, high inflation, hard currency scarcity and political instability, there seems to be a renewed focus from the government to make the cannabis and hemp sectors drivers of an economic turnaround, which could serve as a catalyst for further progress in the sector over the coming years.

The Chief made his submission to Parliament on 23 May 2023, saying that local landraces were used for  a variety of purposes, including industrial use. He appealed to MP's to support the Mpondoland legacy growers as they were being increasingly marginalized by cannabis reform.

Voice of Reason from Mpondoland: Chief Zwelinkhanyile Diko Tells Parliament: Keep it Simple, Just Classify Local Landraces as Industrial Cannabis

The Chief made his submission to Parliament on 23 May 2023, saying that local landraces were used for a variety of purposes, including industrial use. He appealed to MP's to support the Mpondoland legacy growers as they were being increasingly marginalized by cannabis reform.

The Justice Department took flak in Parliament this week during stakeholder input into the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill where it became evident that state law-makers are clueless as to what Government's intended vision for cannabis is. They remain conceptually and technically completely out of their depth - and lazy to boot as they have not bothered to bring any rational evidence to back up what is truly a pathetic legislative interpretation of the 2018 Constitutional Court ruling legalizing the private consumption of cannabis.

Justice Dept Admits No Rational Evidence Behind Plant Limits in Cannabis Bill as State Lawyers Come Under Fire in Parliament

The Justice Department took flak in Parliament this week during stakeholder input into the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill where it became evident that state law-makers are clueless as to what Government's intended vision for cannabis is. They remain conceptually and technically completely out of their depth - and lazy to boot as they have not bothered to bring any rational evidence to back up what is truly a pathetic legislative interpretation of the 2018 Constitutional Court ruling legalizing the private consumption of cannabis.

Cannabis and solar power to be the key economic recovery drivers in rebuilding the devestated community of Jagersfontein following the flood disaster eight months ago.

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Cannabis and solar power to be the key economic recovery drivers in rebuilding the devestated community of Jagersfontein following the flood disaster eight months ago.

Ailing Zimbabwe Puts New Energy into Cannabis as a Forex Alternative to Tobacco

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