As more global corporations establish cannabis farms around the world, focus has increasingly shifted to Africa.
In Africa, more countries are decriminalizing marijuana usage, with Morocco being the most recent.
Morocco is a major grower of cannabis and a supplier of illegal by-products such as hashish.
Moroccan Medical Marijuana
In May, the North African country passed a law permitting the therapeutic use of cannabis, a momentous move for a country that was one of the world’s first producers of hashish.
According to the legal definition, cannabis can only be used in medicine, cosmetics, and even for industrial reasons.
The House of Representatives passed the bill with 119 votes in favor and 48 votes against.
Recreational use is still illegal and punishable under current law.
Rwanda legalized the production and processing of medical marijuana last year in order to increase revenue. The Rwandan government maintained that cannabis cultivation and distribution would be restricted to regulated outlets such as pharmacies, and that cannabis consumption will remain prohibited.
South Africa’s government is still working on plans to convert marijuana into a successful industry so the country might reap the benefits of the plant.
South Africa intends to sign the Cannabis for Private Purpose Bill into law in the fiscal year 2022/2023.
The Constitutional Court ruled in 2018 that cannabis use, possession, and growing in private residences was not illegal and should be permitted in South Africa.
The government has 24 months to enact the law.
Cannabis in Africa
To reduce cannabis use, Uganda enacted one of the strictest laws in the world, while still allowing the product to be commercialized.
In 2019, the Ugandan government spent more than $264,000 on high-quality cannabis seeds. After receiving authorization from the European Union in 2019, they were able to secure buyers from Germany and Canada.
Cannabis Sativa has more than 50,000 potential industrial uses, including as a substitute for paper, cardboard, and cotton, as well as medical uses.
According to a 2019 report by the Africa Regional Hemp and Cannabis Association, Africa’s contribution to the global cannabis market was $37.3 billion, accounting for 11% of the global industry.
According to a research by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 19 out of 53 African nations reported cannabis production on their soil between 1995 and 2005.
In 2005, the UNODC estimated that world cannabis herb production was 42,000 metric tons. Africa alone was responsible for 10,500 metric tons, or 25% of the total.
The American continent accounted for 46% of world cannabis output, with North America accounting for 23% and South America accounting for another 23%.
Because of the hazards, countries throughout the world have made personal use of cannabis illegal, particularly among smokers.
The drug has been associated with alleged negative health effects such as lung cancer, mental disease, and other social difficulties in people who overuse it.
Questions remain about whether countries should legalize cannabis at the expense of individual health while stakeholders continue to push for its industrial use to be legalized.