Zimbabwe Becomes Second African Country to Legalize Marijuana Cultivation
The government will allow individuals and businesses to grow marijuana for medical and scientific purposes.
Zimbabwe is the second African nation to legalize marijuana cultivation, reports Reuters.
The country's Minister of Health David Parirenyatwa announced the government's plan to allow individuals and businesses licenses to grow marijuana for medical and scientific purposes.
The five-year license permits growers to produce, possess and sell marijuana, which is known locally as mbanje. Those convicted of past drug offenses are not eligible to apply.
Prior to this ruling, marijuana was illegal in Zimbabwe, those caught with it in their possession faced up to 12 years in prison.
Last year, Lesotho—where marijuana is the main cash crop—granted Africa's first legal marijuana license to a South African medical company.
According to the United Nation's 2017 World Drug Report, the continent is second only to the U.S. in marijuana consumption.
For more on the legalization of weed on the continent, revisit the piece "What Would Legal Marijuana Look Like On the Continent."
UPDATE: According to journalist, Hopewell Chin'ono It appears that gaining a license will set growers back $50,000. He tweeted a picture of what, appears to be, a copy of the application, which lists a cost of $50,000 to produce marijuana, a $20,000 renewal application, a $5,000 fee to conduct marijuana research and more.