10 July 2017

Zimbabwe: Zim Mulls Legalising Production of Cannabis to Lure Investment

Photo: Pixabay
Marijuana leaves.

Zimbabwe is considering legalising the production of cannabis for medical purposes to lure investors keen to grow the drug, a cabinet minister says.

Investment Promotion Minister Obert Mpofu says a Canadian firm has applied to the government for a permit to produce the drug, known locally as mbanje, in one of the country's soon-to-be-set-up Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Numerous inquiries

"We have received numerous inquiries from investors who want to participate in the SEZs and one of them is a big international company that wants to be involved in the production of cannabis," Mpofu was quoted as saying by the state-run Sunday News.

Zimbabwe is in the process of setting up SEZs, initially in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. The zones will offer investors incentives, including exemption from some provisions of the labour law and black economic empowerment rules.

Big business

Mpofu told the paper that he thought the Canadian firm, which he didn't name, was joking when he first received an inquiry from them. That was before he realised that medical cannabis production was big business.

"This company is from Canada and it's one of the biggest conglomerates in that country and they are producing cannabis for medical purposes under strict conditions," he said.

Punishable by jail

"I don't see anything wrong and I think if we legalise (production of) mbanje we will benefit medically because it is used for pain killers such as morphine," he added.

Under Zimbabwe's laws the possession or cultivation of cannabis is illegal, punishable by jail.

In 2015 a Harare man - who was found by police to be growing small quantities of marijuana at home, apparently to treat a rare bone ailment - was jailed for 12 months, according to The Herald.

Source: News24

More on This

Mixed Reactions to Marijuana Legalization Proposal

Zimbabweans on Monday expressed both shock and surprise over government revelations it could soon partner a group of… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.