Article by Ray Mwareya, Cannabis Culture
Two weeks ago, Zimbabwe – a country with no functioning currency of its own and known for its harsh jail penalties on drugs possession – became the second country in Africa to legalize Cannabis cultivation and industrial processing, triggering a rush of interest from companies in Europe and Canada.
Cannabis use is widely banned on the continent though according the UN Office on Drugs 2017report, though Africa comes second to South America in global Cannabis production.
As Zimbabwe okays Cannabis cultivation for the first time, land is reportedly being ceded to firms from as far as Holland (famed for its liberal attitude to Cannabis) in deals so shrouded in secrecy some activists dread this will probably result in communities being uprooted from their land to make way for foreign firms with cash.
According to Mr. Patrick Dutiro, a prominent lawmaker in Zimbabwe, firms from Canada have not wasted time and are on track to fence-off 10 000 hectares of prime land in Guruve, a central district populated by small indigenous farmers who usually scrap a living on its rich soils to grow tobacco.
“Guruve district, which I represent in parliament, is very ideal for Cannabis plant farming due to its excellent temperatures,” he said. “Only my district in the whole country has optimum rainy season temperatures of 20-30 degrees Celsius which are most favourable with this plant.”
He reveals what his district hopes to gain in any deals. “Future plans are to use local Cannabis juice for managing diseases like epilepsy and manufacturing ecological car dashboards.”