Where it’s All Happening
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services’ Buffalo Range prison, located in Chiredzi, may be home to the first legal cannabis farm and production plant. A company based in Harare, Ivory Medical, have secured themselves a 10-hectare piece of land at this prison. The reason being is that they believe the location will provide a high level of security they will be needed.
Documents are even being drawn up to secure a lease on 80 more hectares within the prison grounds!
This is a massive step seeing as Zim only made it legal to produce cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes in 2018. It seems that they have jumped at the opportunity to turn marijuana into another revenue stream for the country.
The Zim government provided the opportunity to the people to obtain a license allowing them to grow cannabis, applying to both companies and individuals. Whereas previously, both production and possession of cannabis could put you in prison for up to 12 years. However, recreational use of the plant is still very much a criminal offence.
The Future of Cannabis in Africa
Many African countries still shun the production and consumption of cannabis, but Zim seems to be on the right track by opening up the industry for medical and scientific purposes. Even places such as Malawi and Ghana are exploring the possibilities that cannabis may provide economically.
So Zimbabwe seems to be making the right moves. Even without recreational use, the purposes they are looking into are still vital and mean a lot in the cannabis industry. Hopefully, more African countries realise the opportunities the plant may present and will follow suit quickly.
There is a bit of irony in this development though. We are not sure, but it may be safe to assume that prisoners may be contracted to work on and maintain the cannabis farm in Zimbabwe. Some of them could possibly have been convicted for marijuana-related charges. Now being put to use building the industry for the very plant that put them there in the first place.