Zimbabwe has become the second African country to legalize marijuana for medical and scientific purposes.
Dr David Parirenyatwa, the country’s health minister, said in a government notice that individuals and businesses
would be able to apply for licences to cultivate cannabis for medicinal or scientific use.
The five-year licences will clear also clear growers to possess, transport and sell fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, and dried product.
Production and possession of marijuana, known as mbanje or dagga in southern Africa, was previously punishable by up to 12 years in jail. Recreational use will remain illegal.
Applicants for the licenses must submit detailed plans of their proposed production site and yield, according to the government notice published in the Harare Herald on Saturday.
Individuals applying for licenses must be Zimbabwe citizens or residents or have a waiver issued by the minister. Those previously convicted of drug offences will not be allowed to apply.
The tiny state of Lesotho issued Africa’s first license for medical marijuana production last year.