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Lesotho Just Granted Africa's First Legal Marijuana License

Lesotho's Ministry has granted the South African medical company Verve Dynamics an official license for the cultivation of marijuana.

Lesotho's Ministry of Health just granted South African medical company, Verve Dynamics, an official license for the cultivation of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes—making it the first marijuana production company on the continent to have been given administrative approval.


Cannabis is already Lesotho's primary cash-crop. It's mountainous terrain, experienced farmers, and cooperative government puts the country in a unique position to lead the continent's industry, reports Konbini. About 70 percent of South Africa's marijuana is generated in Lesotho, and the continent's market is only growing.

According to a 2007 report on "Cannabis in Africa" by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an estimated 38.2 million Africans between the ages of 15 and 64 use marijuana yearly and the numbers have grown since. Nigeria ranks third on a list of countries that consume the most cannabis with 14.3 percent of the population using marijuana.

With this ruling, Lesotho finds itself at the forefront of an immensely profitable industry.

“Access to medicinal cannabis on the African continent has taken another major step forward today and Verve Dynamics is honoured to be the first company in Africa to have been granted regulatory approval to begin the process of growing and producing high quality cannabis extracts commercially,” says Richard Davies of Verve Dynamics in a statement. "The Government’s decision to move forward with this historic decision means that Lesotho will play a significant role in developing this industry, both locally and internationally, as well as establishing itself as a pioneer on the African continent with regards to state of the art extraction equipment."

So, will other African countries take steps towards "legalizing it" as well? It appears that some are gradually doing so already, South Africa legalized the use of marijuana for personal use in the home back in April, though distribution and public uses are still illegal.

It seems that Verve Dynamics is ready just in case any other nations decide to follow in Lesotho's footsteps. “We will make this equipment and services available to our partners in Africa on a toll basis as long as both the legal and regulatory approvals have been met,” says the company.

From what we can tell, the continent is about to get even more lit.

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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