Dutch firm joins Zimbabwe cannabis stampede

Dutch firm joins Zimbabwe cannabis stampede
Published: 14 May 2018
A Dutch firm has engaged the Zimbabwe government on intentions to set up a factory in Zimbabwe to value-add cannabis for medicinal purposes.

There has been an overwhelming response from people and companies wishing to venture into cannabis farming, with the government having so far received applications worth at least $7 million.

The development follows the government's gazetting of a statutory instrument legalising the farming cannabis in Zimbabwe only for medicinal and or scientific purposes.

The $50 000 licence fee charged by the government seems to have not deterred potential farmers keen to venture into this billion dollar industry.

Meanwhile, Canadian investors are scouting for business opportunities in Guruve in a bid to secure 10 000 hectares of land for marijuana farming due to the area's favourable climatic conditions.

Discussions are already at a preliminary stage.

Guruve South legislator Patrick Dutiro confirmed that investors had approached his constituency to embark on the project in line with Government's policy on industrial purposes of marijuana farming.

Several parts of Mashonaland Central are climatically ideal for marijuana farming and investors have identified Guruve as one of the areas with favourable temperatures for the plant production especially during the rainy season.

"The province is very ideal for mbanje farming due to the favourable temperatures and research has shown that Guruve is the only district which has optimum rainy season temperatures of 20-30 degrees Celsius which are most favourable with this plant.

"Cannabis juice is used for medicinal purposes and the residue fibre for car dashboards which are environmentally friendly," said Dutiro.

The Zimbabwean government recently published a licensing regime that will allow the legal cultivation of cannabis.

Growing mbanje, as dagga is commonly known in Zimbabwe, will be legal for research and medical use under the new regulations, Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018, "Dangerous Drugs – Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations".

Zimbabwe has been considering such partial legalisation for the last eight months.

Five-year licences will clear also clear growers to possess, transport and sell fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, and dried product.

The regulations impose an obligation on the government to consider the risk that dagga could be diverted to illicit use, complaints from police, or objections by local authorities.

Recently there has been mixed reactions over Government's move to legalise production of cannabis with calls for the reduction of licensing fees to include small-scale farmers especially those who have been growing the plant in places like Binga, Chiweshe and Dande.

Lesotho granted its first licences for marijuana production in September last year, believed to be the first African country to do so.

A South African court ruling in March 2017 provides what is thought to be a viable defence against prosecution for private cultivation and use of dagga.
- BusinessDaily
Tags: Mbanje, Cannabis,


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