As part of Zimbabwe’s desperate efforts to increase public revenue, the Southern African country has announced new rules that will help regulate its cannabis market industry. Regulation is expected to ultimately fetch more money for the country through increased foreign exchange earnings.
Bloomberg reported that Zimbabwe’s Agriculture Minister, Anxious Masuka, said that three types of permits will be given to cannabis researchers, growers, and hemp merchants.
In line with these permits, cannabis researchers may only be able to culminate the plant for research purposes. Growers, on the other hand, will be allowed to plant, advertise, and sell industrial hemp. Also, hemp merchants can contract private farmers to plant to cultivate the plant for them or procure/process hemp into products.
This is quite an interesting turnaround of events for Zimbabwe. This is because prior to this time, people found guilty of cultivating cannabis have were jailed for as much as 12-years. A lot of countries in Africa still have such restrictive laws in place, although it has not prevented some illegal cultivation of the plant.
For Zimbabwe, it is clear why legalising and regulating cannabis is a wiser choice than criminalising it. The global cannabis market has grown dramatically since the United States of America legalised recreational cannabis use during President Barrack Obama’s second tenure. The commodity now presents a viable export opportunity for a lot of African countries, particularly for the likes of Zimbabwe.
As you may well know, Zimbabwe has been battling an economic crisis that has protracted for nearly a decade. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has complicated everything, to the extent that many of the citizens are literally starving.
The country is not earning enough forex, even as inflation has been a long-standing problem. The local currency has now become so de-valued so much so that millions of Zimbabwean dollar can buy very little. Therefore, if legalising/exporting cannabis is going to help relieve this economic crisis, all well and good.