Southern African country seeks to boost cannabis industry
Zimbabwe allows for the first time the sale of hemp products as part of complementary medicines administered to patients. The Treasury estimates that cannabis can generate $1,25 billion a year.
The Zimbabwe Medicines Control Authority has invited all producers, importers, processors, exporters and licensed pharmacists to apply for permission to market these products.
The regulator has asked interested people to provide product samples and allow its officials to inspect production sites. “Unlicensed cannabis sellers will be prosecuted for selling unapproved drugs,” he said in a letter dated July 18.
The southern African country is looking to increase revenue from cannabis as it gradually quit smoking, its main cash crop. The clearance will help boost an industry that the Treasury says could reach $1,25 billion a year.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said medicinal cannabis had "tremendous potential" to generate export revenue and tax revenue.
Medicinal cannabis is primarily used to manage pain as an alternative to regular medication. Medical research shows it has the ability to reduce physical pain and may also be effective in helping to relieve neurological distress.
The regulator has declared Tuesday that it had already started receiving requests for hemp product approvals from its stakeholders.