As more global companies set up cannabis farms around the world, the focus has increasingly shifted to Africa.
In Africa, more and more countries are decriminalizing marijuana use, with Morocco being the youngest.
Morocco is a major cannabis grower and supplier of illegal by-products such as hashish.
Moroccan medical marijuana
In May, the North African country passed a law allowing the therapeutic use of cannabis, a momentous move for a country that was one of the world’s first hashish producers.
According to the legal definition, cannabis may only be used in medicine, cosmetics and even for industrial reasons.
The House of Representatives passed the bill with 119 votes in favor and 48 against.
Recreational use is still illegal and punishable under current law.
Rwanda legalized the production and processing of medical marijuana last year in an effort to increase revenue. The Rwandan government claimed that the cultivation and distribution of cannabis would remain restricted to regulated outlets such as pharmacies and that cannabis use would remain prohibited.
South Africa’s government is still working on plans to turn marijuana into a thriving industry so the country can reap the benefits of the plant.
South Africa intends to enact the Cannabis for Private Purpose Act in fiscal year 2022/2023.
The Constitutional Court ruled in 2018 that the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis in private homes is not illegal and should be allowed in South Africa.
The government has 24 months to enact the law.
Cannabis in Africa
To reduce cannabis use, Uganda has enacted one of the strictest laws in the world and yet allowed the product to be commercialized.
In 2019, the Ugandan government spent more than $ 264,000 on high quality cannabis seeds. After approval by the European Union in 2019, they were able to attract buyers from Germany and Canada.
Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe are among the African countries that have approved the commercial use and export of cannabis.
Cannabis Sativa has more than 50,000 potential industrial uses, including replacing paper, cardboard, and cotton, as well as for medicinal purposes.
According to a 2019 report by the Africa Regional Hemp and Cannabis Association, Africa’s contribution to the global cannabis market was $ 37.3 billion, representing 11% of global industry.
According to a study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 19 out of 53 African nations reported cannabis production on their soil between 1995 and 2005.
In 2005, the UNODC estimated that global cannabis herb production was 42,000 tons. Africa alone was responsible for 10,500 tons or 25% of the total.
The Americas accounted for 46% of global cannabis production, with North America accounting for 23% and South America for an additional 23%.
Because of the dangers, countries around the world have made the personal use of cannabis illegal, especially among smokers.
The drug has been linked to alleged adverse health effects such as lung cancer, mental illness, and other social difficulties in people who consume it excessively.
Questions remain as to whether countries should legalize cannabis at the expense of individual health, while stakeholders continue to push for its industrial use to be legalized.
Original article: https://www.africanews.com/2021/05/27/morocco-joins-growing-list-of-african-countries-to-legalize-cannabis/