Malawi legalizes cannabis for medical purposes among others

Landlocked country in southeastern Africa is the latest addition to ease laws against selling and growing cannabis. The latest bill has made cannabis legal in production of hemp fibers and medicines used in the industry.

Based on reports the parliament passed the bill on Thursday was tabled by Agriculture Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa. The law made it legal to cultivate and process cannabis for the formerly mentioned uses. The bill however does not permit decriminalizing recreational use.

Owning to revolutionizing drug change, an increasing number of countries are either legalizing or moderating laws on cannabis, also known as marijuana. Most recently Zambia in South Africa legalized Cannabis production for export.

South African country Lesotho also became the first country to lift the ban on the plant along with Zimbabwe for medicinal purposes in 2017. South Africa has also decriminalized domestic personal use and is working on lifting the ban on commercial cultivation of the plant.

“We are very happy that finally we’re taking the right steps to move the country’s economy forwards,” Chauncy Jere, a director of Ikaros Africa, one of the two companies conducting industrial hemp trials in Central Malawi, told Reuters.

In the wake of the new development, spokesman for the Hemp Association of Malawi commented, “There’s no denying that cannabis would be a lucrative industry and its demand is huge.”

Cannabis has been one of the chief foreign currency earners in Malawi since independence from Britain in 1964. Tobacco on the other hand is regarded more addictive to health in comparison to cannabis, quoted drug scientists.