By Thandiwe Garusa
ZIMBABWE’S cannabis sector has the potential of generating US$1,25 billion annual revenue, a senior government official has said.
In 2018 Zimbabwe became the second African country after Lesotho to legalise the production of cannabis for medicinal and research purposes.
Speaking during the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Harare Monday, Deputy Minister of Health, John Mangwiro said the sector was likely to generate billions and urged proper licensing and monitoring of the cannabis production.
“I am happy that MCAZ in your circular 17 of 2022 took the initiative and invited players, who want to use cannabinoid-based products (CBD products) as complementary medicines to register with the Authority,” said Mangwiro.
“This a unique and growing sector and has the potential to grow to US1,25 billion dollars as annual revenue. I, however, call upon the MCAZ to be vigilant as they license and monitor this sector.
“The government will not tolerate any abuse of cannabis licenses and criminal diversion of this controlled substance. Let me emphasize that the use of cannabis is restricted to medicinal and research purposes only.”
Mangwiro also said the government urged health practitioners to use this opportunity to equip themselves with knowledge required to further homegrown research on medical cannabis.
“As a ministry, we also encourage local professionals not to be left behind if there are genuine socio-economic and environmental benefits that accrue from cannabis.
“Government is committed to building an internationally competitive cannabis industry that is predicated on integrity and policy consistency,” he said.