Zim to legalise mbanje . . . Govt considers drug use for medical purposes

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Jul 9, 2017 | 18430 views


From Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
THE Government is considering an application that has been made by a Canadian international company to produce cannabis for medical purposes, a move that will see the country legalising the production and use of marijuana in selected areas, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Dr Obert Mpofu told captains of Industry at a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in Victoria Falls recently that a Canadian conglomerate has submitted an application to partner Government in the production of medical cannabis, also known as marijuana or mbanje, in one of the areas that has been earmarked for Special Economic Zones.

“We have received numerous inquiries from investors who want to participate in the SEZs and one of them is a big international company that wants to be involved in the production of cannabis. I also laughed and thought they were joking when I received the inquiry but they are serious. This seems to be big business,” said Dr Mpofu.

Contacted later to clarify, Dr Mpofu said Government was seriously considering the application adding that there was nothing wrong if the drug is used for beneficial purposes as some countries were already doing the same. Production and use of marijuana is illegal in Zimbabwe. Possessing of the drug can attract up to 12 years in jail.

“We have a variety of interests and we are considering all applications. This company is from Canada and it’s one of the biggest conglomerates in that country and they are producing cannabis for medical purposes under strict conditions. I don’t see anything wrong and I think if we legalise mbanje we will benefit medically because it is used for pain killers such as morphine. South Africa has done that,” he said.

In Canada the Government has issued at least 50 licences to a number of companies under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

The companies are also authorised to produce, sell or provide dried and fresh marijuana, cannabis oils or starting material to eligible persons.

According to Health Canada, routine inspections of licenced producers of cannabis for medical purposes are regularly conducted to verify compliance with the regulations.

Compliance is normally achieved through a co-operative approach between the regulated party and Health Canada.

Medical cannabis, also termed medical marijuana is a drug prescribed by doctors for patients to reduce nausea, vomiting and improve appetite but its use has not been widely tested due to production restrictions and other governmental regulations.

Turning to the SEZs, Dr Mpofu said the concept will take into account the country’s competitive advantage as Government seeks to achieve agenda 2030 and 2063.

He said focus will be on those industries with a trickledown effect. Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Harare have been identified as the first three pilots.

Dr Mpofu implored local authorities to be alive SEZs, provide incentives and land to investors both local and foreign. He said the newly appointed SEZs board had already started work with countrywide consultations planned.

Dr Mpofu also touched on corruption as he blamed the private sector for incentivising the vice.

“The private sector actually gives incentives to corruption. If there was no private sector there will be no corruption in the world. China has low levels of corruption because they use a command approach so we should all fight corruption,” he said.

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  • max moyo

    if you were laughing about such an inquiry it shows how ignorant you are of current trends…

  • Concerned Citizen

    In some developed countries Marijuana has been legalised for medicinal purposes. Also possession of the drug for personal consumption is not a crime. In Zimbabwe it is an open secret that there are families and communities in areas like Binga that survive on growing the marijuana. So instead of considering growing Mbanje in Special Economic Zones whilst continuieng to percecutine our citizens who are already surviving on the drug why don’t we combine the two. That is having the current Mbanje growing commumities to supply the required mbanje for the Canadian project which appears to have a potential for generating some foreign currency through exports.

    • Doris

      Canopy Growth is the worst… poor Zimbabwe.

    • Steves

      Give examples of families and communities in Binga that survive on growing the marijuana otherwise don’t post baseless examples just to tarnish the good image of the baTonga people.

  • Jonso

    Ko kudziputa kwacho, will you also legalise?

  • vusumuzi

    Colombia , here we come !!!! . Obert Mpofu uthandimali njengesfebe, already usuqumbaqumbeka uthi wena its big business elsewhere !!!. Seeing that Govt is broke, what will stop them from allowing that ?To even think that Govt is even considering giving it a thought !!!. Anyway , just legalize it , Mzansi even has a Dagga poilitical party , maybe a weed-puffing Prez would be better, kkkk. If good for medication, its good for as food too !!!

  • LihloLikazulu

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is about industrial uses of Cannabis. For recreational or medicinal marijuana, see Cannabis (drug). For other uses, see Hemp (disambiguation).

    Hemp field in Côtes-d’Armor, Brittany, France

    Hemp grown for animal feed
    Hemp or industrial hemp (from Old English hænep),[1] typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products.[2] It is one of the fastest growing plants[3] and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago.[4] It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.[5]

    Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp are both members of the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique biochemical compositions and uses.[6] Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.[6] The legality of industrial hemp varies widely between countries. Some governments regulate the concentration of THC and permit only hemp that is bred with an especially low THC content.[7]

  • chrogic

    kkkkkkkkkkkkwaaaaaaaaaaaaa……so we should all fight corruption……..kwaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!???????

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