Zim Opens Up Local Cannabis Market; Classifies CBD as a Traditional Medicine
Major changes are underway as Zimbabwe's Medicines Control Authority is now accepting applications to place hemp-based CBD cannabis in the market. Consumption of high-THC – “recreational” cannabis remains illegal.
Cannabiz Africa and Hemp Today
5 August 2022 at 10:00:00
In a significant development, Zimbabwe has embraced low-THC cannabis and will now allow licensed producers to supply the domestic market. To date cannabis producers have only been allowed to export their crop.
The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has sent a circular (dated 18 June 2022) to licensed cannabis and hemp producers, manufacturers, importers and exporters, and pharmacists, saying it is now accepting applications for approval to place hemp-based CBD products on the market
Zimbabwe is now classifying CBD cannabis as a traditional herbal medicine. Only hemp and medical marijuana operators can open legal cannabis businesses under the country’s cannabis laws as general adult-use consumption remains illegal.
MCAZ’s acting Director-General R.T. Rukwata said in the circular that applicants must “submit dossiers that include product samples and certificates of analysis from an accredited laboratory, and pass MCAZ inspections of their sites to ensure compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices”.
The rest of this article is reproduced from Hemp Today , first published on 3 August 2022.
While the MCAZ has a clearly defined registration process for traditional medicines, also known as herbal “complementary medicines,” most hemp products available have been imported. The agency has found little success in registering local products, according to a report issued last year by Purdue University’s Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science Center (BIRS) (USA).
Zimbabwean producers contribute just 2% to the total domestic supply of such herbal products, the report noted.
The BIRS paper warned that unregistered traditional medicines pose a significant public health threat in Zimbabwe due to inadequate regulations, and recommended greater cooperation among regulatory bodies to ensure consistent quality. Studies on local herbs are needed to help guide producers in preparing dossiers for product registration, and frame quality standards, BIRS also said.
After setting up rules to guide the hemp industry were released in late 2020, the Agriculture Marketing Authority began issuing farming and production licenses and the government started providing 99-year leases on state-owned farms last year.
Cultivation, processing, transportation and other aspects of the hemp production chain are heavily regulated. Only government-sanctioned hemp cultivars may be grown although special permission may be granted for non-approved cultivars under research licensing.
The Zimbabwean government initially planned to manage hemp under state ownership, but later revised its strategy to encourage investment in the cannabis sectors. A loosening of regulations last year drew investors from Germany, Switzerland and Canada which received cultivation and processing licenses.
The Ministry of Lands and the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe cooperate with the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency in the administration of the cannabis business, and share authority for regulatory requirements. The government has established the Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust (ZIHT), a development initiative set up to assist farmers in starting up hemp operations, and to look for new export markets for their hemp outputs.
The Zimbabwean government sees industrial hemp as a replacement for the country’s falling prospects in tobacco, which makes up roughly 20% of Zimbabwe’s exports. Contraction in the tobacco industry has contributed to stagnation which has beset the country’s economy for nearly two decades despite the African nation’s vast wealth of natural resources.
How to Strangle the Hemp Baby at Birth: Plant Improvement Act Exposed is an Insult to SA Cannabis Cultivation Culture, Ignores Years of Local Research and Forces Reliance on Untested Imported Genetics
It became clear during the Parliamentary hearings into the Cannabis Bill, that the real legislative rascal in the room is the Plant Improvement Act which ignores local research and forces growers to import seed instead of using local landraces for industral cannabis
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.
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 in South Africa: The People’s Plant
We are a civil society organisation with the interests of the existing Cannabis industry and the Human Rights of ALL citizens at heart.
Resources & Equipment
Explore cannabis growing equipment for growing weed at home.
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to enhance your outdoor or indoor weed grow setup – we have the perfect range of cannabis growing equipment to match your marijuana growing ambitions.
Find everything from LED grow lights, grow tents, fans, and hydroponic setups, to environmental equipment and controls, harvesting accessories, extraction equipment and plenty more.
Design your ideal cannabis growing setup with high quality growing equipment available in South Africa.
Explore cannabis growing equipment we’ve curated from reliable online suppliers in South Africa