They may be on two separate, far-away continents, but that didn’t stopped Zimbabwe from turning to Canada with its latest plan to legalize cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. Now, however, those efforts are now being ended by the government, which says it received over 350 applicants and that it needs to undertake a feasibility study before it legalizes the drug medicinally.
Zimbabwe would have been the second African country to legalize the plant for medicinal purposes, after teensy-tiny Lesotho approved a medical cannabis facility back in 2017. The country made its move through regulations under the country’s drug laws, with a rather bureaucratic name of “Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018 (Dangerous Drugs – Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations).”
A copy of the regulations were not immediately available to Civilized, but a significant portion of it was earlier reported on by Zimbabwe daily newspaper The Herald.
Cannabis is often referred to as mbanje in the country, and curiously Zimbabwe would have legalized the exact same product classes available through Canada’s commercial medical marijuana program - namely dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, and cannabis oil.
The Zimbabwe government has even adopted similar and sometimes identical language to Canada’s system. They require each applicant to have a “proposed responsible person in charge” as well as an “alternate responsible person in charge.”
We reached out to someone in the industry whose job it is to work alongside governments around the world who have licensed the substance.
Deepak Anand, Vice President of Government Relations at Cannabis Compliance Inc, says that it “isn’t surprising that we are seeing a number of countries like Zimbabwe emulate our Canadian regulatory regime which ensures great oversight from a security and anti-diversion perspective and at the same time.” He says they are similar because they both have as a goal, “protecting public health by incorporating a number of quality control mechanisms into it.”
Once Zimbabwe’s legislators are ready to bring the medical marijuana system back online, they would best be served looking to keep up with the updated regulations released by Canada.