Zimbabwe drops the THC limit that characterizes industrial hemp from 0.3% to 1%, a significant change for hemp farmers in the country.
In 2018, Zimbabwe became the second nation in Africa to legalize medical cannabis. She legalized hemp the following year.
A country at the forefront
The amended bill, called Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, 2002proposes to modify section 155 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapitre 9:23] to remove industrial hemp from the list of dangerous drugs.
“By inserting the following definition, the Bill states: “‘Industrial hemp’ means the Cannabis Sativa L plant and any part of that plant, including the seed and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids , salts and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration not exceeding one percent on a dry weight basis.”
An increase in the THC level will offer industrial hemp growers a greater range of Cannabis varieties to extract certain cannabinoids such as THC or CBD, but also to obtain a better quality of fibers.
Hemp cultivation is also giving new life to tobacco farms, whose production has been declining in recent years. THE Tobacco Research Board (TRB) was ordered to “reform and restructure by 2025,” to become a national center for tobacco and alternatives research, development and innovation.
The country has set itself the goal of advancing the profitability and development of agriculture in Zimbabwe. Industrial hemp was one of the crops of interest. Over the past few years, TRB has been testing and developing varieties of hemp acclimated to the climatic conditions of Zimbabwe.
Five years of medical cannabis in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe legalized medical cannabis in 2018.
In 2019, Zimbabwe abolished the ban on cannabis cultivation, setting the stage for farmers in the country to start growing industrial hemp for export. In the same year, the country issued the first license for a medical cannabis company to begin cultivation.
In May 2022, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned a €25 million medical cannabis farm and processing plant to be managed by Swiss Bioceuticals Limited in the Western Province of Zimbabwe.
“This milestone demonstrates the successes of my government’s engagement and re-engagement policy. It also demonstrates the confidence that Swiss companies have in our economy by continuing to invest in Zimbabwe. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Swiss Bioceuticals Limited for this timely investment in the medicinal cannabis farm, processing plant and value chain, worth US$27 million,” Mr. Mnangagwa said during of the factory announcement.
The Zimbabwe Medicines Control Authority said on July 26, 2022 that it would begin accepting applications from cannabis and hemp producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters and retail pharmacists, in a shift in focus from tobacco. .