Ethiopia's cannabis potential valued at US $ 10 billion
New study examines regional and global cannabis and hemp opportunities for Africa. According to an African regional report and this study carried out by New Frontier Data, the industry outlook for 2019 indicates that flowering plants of the Cannabinaceae family, recognized for their medical or recreational uses, have a potential of $ 9,8 billion in the Ethiopian market, ranking second on the African continent only after Nigeria's $ 15,3 billion.
New Frontier Data: The authority on data analysis and business intelligence on the global cannabis industry, announces the release of its latest report, Africa Regional Hemp and Cannabis Report: Estimating the Total Cannabis Market of the Africa at US $ 37,3 billion, or more than 11% of the total global cannabis market. The report will be released at the InterCannAlliance Africa Symposium, Africa's premier hemp and cannabis event, May 24-25 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Since the Lesotho became the first African country to legalize cannabis for medical purposes in 2017, the annual rate of cannabis use in Africa has almost doubled: according to the report, the global rate of cannabis consumption is 6% while the rate of Africa's consumption is 11,4%, almost double the global rate.
“The demand for CBD products continues to increase in Europe and many countries like Canada are turning to imports from Colombia in order to meet the growing demand, seeking to profit from it. It will be interesting to see if Africa's proximity to the old continent and its many agro-industrial economies could be better positioned to provide a more profitable supply, ”noted Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data.
"Not only is hemp a potential low-tech, high-profit margin crop to invigorate African economies, but it could also support current United Nations sustainable development goals, such as promoting a inclusive regional economic growth and the creation of sustainable jobs ”.
The main conclusions of the report are as follows
This report covers 13 African countries, or more than 565,4 million people, and it is estimated that nearly 42,8 million of them use cannabis at least annually.
By 2050, Africa's population is expected to double, accounting for 58% of the total global population growth during this period.
The largest cannabis markets in Africa are those with the largest populations, led by Nigeria ($ 15,3 billion) and Ethiopia ($ 9,8 billion).
The report further states that “the growth of the continent presents opportunities for both medical cannabis and industrial hemp. Hemp is a source of fiber and oilseeds grown today in more than 30 countries.
Due to confusion between industrial hemp and medical cannabis, which is based on the visual similarities of very different cannabis strains, the use and circulation of hemp has also been limited around the world. By definition, industrial hemp is high in fiber and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that makes some varieties a valuable flower.
The plant and the industries around it can support many of the UN's sustainable development goals, including those that are the highest priority for African citizens, and some of the inexpensive and accessible applications of industrial hemp can be rapidly activated to support health and growth in Africa in the coming decades ”.
While the market estimate stands at $ 9,8 billion, the study indicates that the current estimated value of the cannabis consumption market in Ethiopia is $ 9,8 million. In addition, he says cannabis could help Ethiopia achieve its goals, especially in the textile sector, if it pays more attention to industrial hemp than to cotton plantation.
“The textile and clothing industries are fast growing sectors in the Ethiopian economy but the flow of production in the cotton supply chain is very low: currently Ethiopia does not grow enough cotton to supply its textile manufacturers, which requires the import of cotton. The government launched the National Cotton Development Strategy with the aim of becoming Africa's largest producer of cotton by the 2030s to supply the garment and textile industries. However, growing cotton requires a considerable amount of water, and the variability of Ethiopia's seasonal and annual rainfall could affect yields, ” the report says.
“Locally sourced hemp fabrics can be a viable addition to Ethiopia's cotton textile and garment industries. Growing hemp requires about a quarter of the amount of water needed to produce cotton, and hemp can be planted much more densely, resulting in higher yields, ”the report points out.
Although it is forbidden to consume cannabis in Ethiopia for whatever reason, the study indicates that it is planted freely in many parts of the country, "notably in the region of Shashamane, which has been populated by 'immigrants rastafari during the reign of King Haile Selassie I ”.
There has never been a single investment in cannabis in Ethiopia and efforts to establish one in Amhara regional state have sparked public outcry and the plan's cancellation by an Ethiopian and Canadian company calling itself Africana. Cannabis Holdings.
Minister of Health Amir Aman tweeted that “the position of the Ministry of Health regarding the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes in Ethiopia has not been recognized or sought. And no regulatory approval has been given. Requests for such investments have been and will continue to be denied. "
Investment Commissioner Abebe Abebayehu also reiterated that the government will not issue an investment license for cannabis in Ethiopia.
But, whether for medical or other purposes, Ethiopia rejects any request for investment in the sector, even with a potential revenue of $ 10 billion.