The growing presence of Cannabis in Africa

The growing presence of Cannabis in Africa

Cannabis and hemp are slowly taking more space in American fields, they were already “omnipresent” in Europe and are now flourishing in Africa as well.


Indeed, a growing number of African countries are considering the cultivation of cannabis for different reasons.


“There’s no denying that cannabis would be a lucrative industry and its demand is huge,” said Jere, who is also a director of Ikaros Africa, a company now conducting industrial hemp trials on lands in the Great Rift Valley of Central Malawi.


On March 20, 2020, the parliament of Ghana passed a Narcotic Control Commission, Bill. This Bill is allowing the use and production of cannabis for industrial and medical purposes.


The Hemp Association of Ghana was a big lobby for the cannabis cause and they are estimating a profit of $2.8 million per harvest for every 100 acres of hemp plantations.


The president of the association mentioned “We are not promoting smoking, we are promoting the industry, we are promoting cleaning up the environment, we are promoting creating a new revenue stream for government … [W]e are … promoting medicines that are far better than opioids, medicines that cannot kill you because no one has died from taking cannabis.”


The new laws concerning cannabis in Ghana are adopting the 0.3% THC limits used in the USA and other countries. Any plant tested positive with a higher percentage of then 0.3% THC concentration will be handled by the Narcotic Control Board.


The parliament of Malawi recently passed a bill on February 26, 2020, which legalized the cultivation and processing of medical cannabis and industrial hemp.


Like many states in America, the country of Malawi was relying on its tobacco farming industry for the last 50 years. As of today, 60% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is represented by Tobacco.


Malawians are hoping that the transition to Cannabis will make them prosper. Their Tobacco industry was already in peril with the popularity of Tobacco going down.


Further last November, the US Homeland Security Department suspended all ofo Malawi Tobacco import due to alleged force labor practices such as child labor.

South Africa

The Cannabis expansion is majorly felt in South Africa where we can already find seven legal producers. South Africans decriminalized personal cultivation in 2018 and rapidly started issuing licenses for the production of medical marijuana.


Lesotho started issuing licenses in 2017. With the help and investment of major Canadian producers, the illicit cannabis sector was unveiled.


Legalized medical marijuana in 2018 like South Africa. Although, so far no licenses have been issued.


Africans from Uganda were planning for commercial cultivation but were delayed by demands from conservative cabinet members who asked for a legal review. Finally, their first licenses were approved in December last year. They are providing medical marijuana for Together Pharma a company from Israel.


Zambia also legalized the cultivation and export of medical cannabis in December 2019. Unfortunately, the country was hit by a severe drought. Those arid conditions are believed to have been caused by global climate change…

The situation the Zambians are facing is making them a test case for the theory of cannabis drought-resistance. We hope the plant will be able to prosper as well as the people despite this climate crisis.


The legalization and exploitation of the cannabis plant are also being discussed in Kenya. The African continent is slowly transitioning and adapting to the worldwide trend and will very likely benefit from it in the near future.


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