Some international companies and local farmers that have submitted applications to be granted cannabis farming licenses have been approved and given the green light to pay the US$46 000 fees. 

Medicinal cannabis

Zimbabwe last year became the second African country after Lesotho to legalise cannabis farming. 

Naturally, the development created a lot of buzz with potential investors and farmers approaching the relevant authorities to register their interest and to inquire on the requirements.

To date the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has screened and evaluated hundreds of applications submitted by cannabis entrepreneurs.

Farmabis, a joint venture between Zimbabweans and UK investors, is one such company that has gone through the screening process, paid their license fee and are now finalising other logistics so that production can commence. 

In Zimbabwe the cannabis growing regulations stipulate the producer’s license is valid for five years and may be renewed thereafter before its expiry.

The selected cannabis producers will be issued renewable 12-month licenses under strict conditions to prevent illicit dealings.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obediah Moyo attended a cannabis expo held at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town, where he explained the country’s licensing regulations and other requirements.

Several other African countries namely Morocco, Ghana, Swaziland and South Africa are also in the process of venturing into the lucrative business.

Malawi has started cultivating cannabis hemp on a trial basis ahead of a potential legalisation.

The US, Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic, have since legalised the production of cannabis for medicinal use.

Medicinal cannabis is used to treat cancers, diabetes, asthma, obesity, nausea and vomiting, chronic pain, liver diseases, glaucoma, stroke, multiple sclerosis, appetite loss, heart disease and psychosis among a wide range of diseases.