Zimbabwe becomes Second African Country to Legalises Cannabis
Zimbabwe this week announced a new regime that will allow the legal cultivation of cannabis, according to state-owned newspaper Herald.
Following the new pronouncement, growing mbanje, as the substance is commonly known in Zimbabwe, will be legal for research and medical use under Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018, “Dangerous Drugs – Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations”.
Five-year licences will clear growers to possess, transport and sell fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, and dried product, the law states.
The regulation however impose an obligation on the government to consider the risk that dagga could be diverted to illicit use, complaints from police, or objections by local authorities.
The move by Zimbabwe, which comes after eight months of deliberations, follows a similar legislation by their southern African neighbours Lesotho, where the government granted its first licences for marijuana production in September last year.
It was the first move of its kind by an African country.
The easing of laws on marijuana production comes on the back of a ruling by a South African court in March 2017 that put forth a viable defence against prosecution for private cultivation and use of marijuana.
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