AFRICAN CANNABIS MARKET
In 2017, Lesotho became the first country to legalize the cultivation, exportation, and use of medical cannabis in Africa. The land-locked country’s high altitude and irrigation system supports the prolific growth of cannabis.
The legalization of medical cultivation and use for cannabis in South Africa is not fully established and is still a topic of discussion for the country’s policymakers. However, in 2018 South Africa decriminalized cultivation and consumption of cannabis for personal use only.
In 2018, Zimbabwe legalized cannabis for medical use and scientific research. Leading up to the legalization, Zimbabweans were allowed to apply for licenses to grow cannabis for these purposes, while the health minister thoroughly reviewed each application to ensure all that were approved would contribute positively to public health and safety.
Though cannabis is still widely illegal in Nigeria, the governor of Ondo state, a state known for growing cannabis, proposed legalizing medical cannabis and recognized the positive impact of cannabis on Ondo’s economy.
As of 2020, Uganda legalized cultivating and exporting medical cannabis.
Specific climates in the mountainous areas of Morocco make it favorable to grow crops like cannabis. Morocco’s government has recognized this opportunity and allows small businesses to continue their production of cannabis. However, large scale production is still criminalized throughout the country. There was a push in 2014 by the Party of Authenticity and Modernity to legalize the production and exportation of industrial and medical cannabis.
Cannabis production is legal in Ghana only with a license from the Minister of Health, which are given out sparingly.
In 2017, conversations of legalizing cannabis and its potential impact on Eswatini’s economy emerged amongst members of parliament, though no concrete legislation has been proposed as of today.
In 2019, there was an overwhelmingly unanimous decision to legalize medical cannabis in Zambia for production and consumption.