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Zimbabwe tobacco industry considers switch to cannabis

Zimbabwe flag

The tobacco industry is watching the decline of tobacco use and the rise of cannabis globally.

In Zimbabwe, tobacco exports brought the country $794 million in 2020, down from a high of $927 million in 2016. Tobacco is the country’s third most valuable export crop after gold and nickel matte. That said, it is also facing a rather existential threat as the industry faces challenges brought about by COVID, a drought and a shift in production heading for South Africa.

In contrast, authorities are already planning for cannabis to be the country’s largest cash crop with earnings well over a billion dollars within the next five years. Last year, the country exported 30 tons of industrial hemp to Switzerland with another 20 tons due to be exported this year.


Cannabis-Growing Gathers Momentum in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe recently scrapped rules requiring sole state ownership for cannabis farming to encourage investment in the plant for industrial and medicinal uses. Zimbabwe is Africa's largest tobacco producer, but authorities expect hemp export earnings to start replacing tobacco as farmers seek higher earnings from the crop.

Farmer Jesper Kirk has been growing mainly tobacco since he moved to a 250-hectare farm five years ago. He now plans to increase his hectarage of hemp, a type of cannabis plant that has very low levels of THC — the intoxicating substance in marijuana — when the growing season begins in a few months.


Zimbabwe Initiates “Green Industry Fund” to Lure Foreign Cannabis Investors

The government of Zimbabwe has created one of the most interesting and potentially hottest cannabis financial “instruments” on the planet. Namely a “Green Fund” that has the backing of critical government agencies—and further specifically that the government hopes will be used to fund cannabis projects.


Africa Needs Cannabis to Spark Economic Growth

In April 2018, Zimbabwe became the second African country to legalize cannabis for medical and scientific use. It joined a small group of pioneering African countries, the bulk of them in southern Africa, that have in recent years commercialized the crop or made great strides in that direction.


Zimbabwe Scraps State Cannabis Ownership Rules to Lure Investors

Zimbabwe abolished a rule which requires co-ownership between government and private investors in the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use, seeking to encourage what the country sees becoming the biggest cash crop.


“Investors can have 100% ownership of their investments and locate their facilities anywhere in the country without prescription,” Douglas Munatsi, chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Investment & Development Agency, said Wednesday in an emailed statement.


The decision is in line “with government’s investor-friendly stance to attract capital and to be competitive,” Munatsi went on to say by phone.


Zimbabwe $1.25 Billion Plan Sees Cannabis as Biggest Cash Crop

cannabis buds

Zimbabwe sees export earnings from cannabis outstripping those of tobacco by almost three times after last year legalizing the cultivation of the plant for medicinal use.


Zimbabwe announces rules for growing cannabis to boost revenue

Zimbabwe has announced the rules for growing cannabis, as the country seeks to boost foreign currency revenue and benefit from the rapidly growing industry.

Anxious Masuka, the agriculture minister, under regulations published in a government gazette said three types of permits can be issued for growers, researchers and industrial hemp merchants.

Growers are only allowed to cultivate, market and sell industrial hemp and researchers may cultivate for research purposes. A merchant can contract individual farmers, procure and process industrial hemp into a specified product.

Prior to the new rule people found growing cannabis in Zimbabwe were liable to a jail term of up to 12-years.


$40k+ Will Buy You a License to Grow Cannabis in Zimbabwe

As Africa’s second country to change its laws about cannabis cultivation in order to enter the growing global medical marijuana industry, Zimbabwe is setting up to be one of the world’s largest hubs for production of all kinds of cannabis products.

It’s no secret that African countries have woken up quickly to the rapidly growing cannabis industry with a focus on medicinal products. In a matter of just a few years, countries that have for nearly a century held laws completely prohibiting the cannabis plant in all ways, practically overnight opened up their countries to legally cultivate cannabis commercially.


Zimbabwe grants full farm ownership to cannabis investors

Following the legalization of cannabis in Zimbabwe, the government has granted approval for all local and foreign cannabis investors to fully own farms and licenses. The decision, which comes after a high-level meeting by the cabinet, is meant to improve competitiveness.

In 2018, Zimbabwe approved the production of marijuana for solely medicinal and scientific purposes after plenty of deliberation, thus becoming the second African country to legalize its use after Lesotho.

Last year, the government announced that 37 local and private investors had shown interest in cannabis farming, in addition to more than 150 foreign and local investors who had indicated interest.


Zimbabwe harvests first marijuana crop

ZIMBABWE has begun harvesting its first crop of legally cultivated industrial hemp after it decriminalised cannabis in 2018 to tap into the multi-billion-dollar industry.

Last year, the Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust (ZIHT) planted five varieties of European industrial cannabis on a 10-hectare plot at Harare Central Prison.

Preliminary results show that of the five varieties planted, only two performed well, with poor rains and high temperatures being blamed.

The results also showed that the crops grew and budded quicker than anticipated.

ZIHT founder Dr Zorodzai Maroveke said they are now testing the varieties around the country.


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