The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida) has to date licensed 55 local and foreign investors for their medicinal cannabis sector-based strategy, meant to promote investments into the country.
Zida is an investment agency responsible for promoting and facilitation of both local and foreign investment in the country.
It came up as an integration of three investment authorities, which were previously housed in different Government Ministries and Departments.
According to the organisation’s latest and first edition newsletter, Zida said they were developing a medicinal cannabis sector-based strategy and to date 55 have been licensed.
“Zida is developing a medicinal cannabis sector-based strategy to promote investments into the country. To date, 55 local and foreign investors have been licensed.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement is working closely with Zida and Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) in ensuring that the quality of seeds imported meet the regulatory requirements while the Tobacco Research Board (TRB) is currently testing and propagating 15 varieties of cannabis to monitor their suitability and potency,” read part of the newsletter.
Zida said through their One Stop Investment Services Centre (OSISC), they were accepting applications into this sector where investors are allowed to own 100 percent of their investments. The investment agency said the legislation allows for cultivation in greenhouses only and farming could be done on private land with an ideal security system including real time smart technology.
“The security services are key in enforcement of monitoring and evaluation and investors are allowed to use private security and should meet outlined minimal standards of security. Other countries that are offering the same licence include Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Rwanda and Zimbabwe is offering the cheapest that is valid for five years,” said Zida.
Medicinal Cannabis sector is projected to grow to $68 billion by 2027, and Zimbabwe is pressing to get a share of this market. The big players in this space include: Canopy Growth Corporation, GW Pharmaceuticals plc, Aurora Cannabis, Inc Aphria Inc, MedReleaf Corporation, Insys Therapeutics Inc, CanniMed Therapeutics, Inc., Cara
Therapeutics Inc and United Cannabis Corporation.
Zida said they were handling investments in all sectors including medicinal cannabis and the regulation of the sector was being carried out by the MCAZ under the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Part of the newsletter read: “The Minister of Health and Child Care is responsible for the administration of the Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018, which governs the sector. The Government of Zimbabwe joined the jamboree by crafting into law, the SI 62 of 2018 (Dangerous Drugs Act), which legalises cultivation and processing of cannabis for medicinal and scientific research.”
Meanwhile, cannabinoids are chemicals found in cannabis. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring, biologically active chemical constituents of hemp and cannabis such as cannabidiol (CBD) and Delta 9-Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC).
Over the years, many people have consumed cannabis (marijuana) illegally all over the world. It was used medicinally in ancient Indian, Chinese, Egyptian and Islamic cultures.
Developments in medical advancements have seen increased use of legal use of medicinal purposes. Owing to its therapeutic benefits, cannabis has been approved for medical use in numerous countries, with varying degrees of legal restrictions.
However, countries around the world are amending their regulations around cannabis, moving from prohibiting to controlling and taxing these products.