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Zambia legalizes weed, is Kenya next?

The Zambian government has finally approved a proposal to legalize the production of Marijuana.

The production of Marijuana in Zambia will, however, be restricted to exports and for medical purposes only, Lusaka Times reports.

Companies wishing to trade in Marijuana in Zambia will be charged US$250,000 annual license fees. Only successful bidders will be issued with commercial licenses to grow and trade in Marijuana for exports.

The licenses will be issued by the Ministry of Health while the growth of the crop will be strictly supervised by the Zambia National Service. The move was unanimously approved during last Wednesday’s (11.12.19) cabinet meeting at State House.

This was confirmed by highly placed officials at Cabinet Office who could not be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the media.

“Cabinet approved the Cab Memo submitted by Health Minister Dr Chilufya for Marijuana legalization but for medicinal purposes. What is interested is that during that cabinet meeting, there were attempts by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture working with Ministry of Commerce to take over the whole process of issuing licenses from the Ministry of Health who have been pushing this agenda for some time,” the source said.

“It appears this whole process was backed by some rich organizations and companies who have been promised licenses that is why there was jostling about where the responsibility to administer this would sit, finally a vote was taken and the Ministry of Health won.”

Africa’s legal cannabis industry could be worth more than $7.1 billion annually by 2023 if legislation is introduced in some of the continent’s major markets, according to research from The African Cannabis Report, the first detailed report on the legal cannabis industry in Africa.

According to the World Drug Report, marijuana is the most widely used drug – 3.9 per cent of people aged 15 to 64 used it at least once in 2016 with the majority of increased use in recent years was recorded in Africa and Asia.

Zambia is following in the footsteps of Zimbabwe which become the second nation on the continent to legalize the production of marijuana for scientific and medicinal use in 2018 after Lesotho according to a report by CNN.

In Kenya, despite the many calls to legalize the herb by politicians and celebrities alike, bhang or weed as is popularly referred to still remains an illegal substance.

 

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