Zimbabwe authorizes for the first time the use of CBD in medicine

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Zimbabwe now allows the sale of cannabidiol (CBD) drugs as an adjunct to treatments given to patients.

The Zimbabwe Medicines Control Authority has urged all licensed hemp and cannabis producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters and retail pharmacists to apply for permission to sell these products.

The regulator 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.

Zimbabwe legalized medical cannabis in 2018, driven by economic realities. Long the country’s main export, tobacco sales have plummeted worldwide, forcing farmers and lawmakers in Zimbabwe to rethink its approach to agriculture.

Industry leaders have encouraged the country’s tobacco growers “to plant cannabis so that a quarter of their income will come from this plant by 2025”.

In 2019, Zimbabwe lifted its ban on growing cannabis, setting the stage for the cultivation of industrial hemp for export. In the same year, the country issued the first license for a medical cannabis company to begin cultivation.

Last year, Zimbabwe exported 30 tons of industrial hemp to Switzerland, its first foray into the European market.

In May, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned a €25 million medical cannabis farm and processing plant to be operated by Swiss Bioceuticals Limited in Zimbabwe’s Western Province.

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