Zimbabwe has opened applications for licenses to cultivate cannabis for medical and research purposes, according to a Reuters report. The approval makes Zimbabwe the second country in Africa to legalize cannabis cultivation after Lesotho approved its own regulations last year.
The licenses will be valid for five years. They will allow growers to possess, transport, and sell fresh and dried cannabis and cannabis oils. Applicants can be rejected if the applicant has been involved in the diversion of a controlled substance “or precursor to an illicit market or use,” according to the report. Annual fees run $15,000, renewal fees cost $20,000, and a research license will cost $5,000. Applicants must be a citizen of Zimbabwe or have proof that they are a resident. Companies must prove they are incorporated in the nation.
“The Minister may not oblige if the issuance, renewal or amendment of the license is likely to create a risk to public health, safety or security.” – Regulations for cannabis cultivation, via Reuters
According to an AFP report, the regulations also reduce prison terms for individuals caught illegally dealing cannabis. Under previous law, those convicted of growing, possessing, or using cannabis could face up to 12 years in jail.