Zimbabwe OKs First Medicinal Cannabis Sales

Zimbabwe OKs First Medicinal Cannabis Sales
High Times

The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe said on Tuesday that it is now accepting applicants from cannabis and hemp producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters, and retail pharmacists, the latest move by the southern African country to shift away from tobacco. As Bloomberg reported, cannabis will be offered as “complimentary medicines given to patients,” marking the “first time” that Zimbabwe has permitted cannabis to be sold. The authority spelled out a host of conditions for applicants, advising that they must submit both product samples and “certificates of analysis from an accredited laboratory specifying the quantities of the active moieties of cannabidiols and any traces of tetrahydrocannabinols as part of the information in the dossier.” “Any Hemp-based CBD product applications that do not meet the criteria above may not be approved for distribution, and will be confiscated,” the Medicines Control Authority warned. “Further, sellers may be prosecuted for selling unapproved complementary medicines.” Zimbabwe legalized medical cannabis in 2018, making it among the first countries in Africa to do so. The policy was motivated by economic realities. Long the country’s leading export, tobacco sales have fallen worldwide, forcing farmers and lawmakers in Zimbabwe to rethink its approach to agriculture. Zimbabwe brought in $819 million in revenue from tobacco last year, according to Bloomberg, although the expected “demand for cannabis is projected to continue to grow while tobacco [the country’s] output globally may decline 15% by 2030.” Industry leaders have encouraged the country’s tobacco farmers “to plant cannabis so that a quarter of their income comes from the plant by 2025,” Bloomberg reported. In 2019, Zimbabwe abolished its ban on cannabis cultivation, which set the stage for the country’s farmers to begin cultivating industrial hemp to export. That same year, the country issued the first license to a medical cannabis company to begin cultivation. Last…

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