Recently, the southern African Kingdom of Lesotho granted a license to a medical company to grow cannabis; the weeks that followed has shown that marijuana legalization is, indeed, popular in Africa.Will any more countries in Africa follow suit and begin the process of legalization, for either medicinal or recreational purposes? If so, which country will it be?
The Loud in Lesotho
Two weeks ago, the country of Lesotho made history. They became the first country in Africa to grant a license to grow cannabis.
The Lesotho Ministry of Health gave official permission to Verve Dynamics, a pharmaceutical company, to grow, process and sell cannabis. While the cannabis that comes out of the facility must be used for medicinal and/or scientific reasons, it’s still a huge step. Not just for the country of Lesotho, but for the continent of Africa as a whole.
Interestingly enough, Lesotho has been a major source of cannabis for over 10 years. In the early 2000s, experts estimated that in South Africa over 70 percent of marijuana came from farmers in Lesotho. In fact, many farmers in the country chose to grow cannabis because of the high price it brings in from the black market.
Who Will Be Next to Legalize in Africa?
Now that Lesotho is making strides in the world of legal cannabis, we’re left wondering: Which African country will be next?
Experts are making a guess. The consensus seems to be that Ghana could be the second country in Africa to regulate the plant.
The prediction is not totally baseless.
Last week, Professor Alex Dodoo, the acting head of Ghana’s Standard Authority, brought the country’s attention to the potential of cannabis. According to him, the plant has potential as both a medical advantage and as a cash crop. In a public call for a debate about the pros and cons of cannabis legalization, Dodoo used Canada as an example to look to for guidance. Specifically, the fact that Canada has a successful medical marijuana program.
In his remarks, Dodoo stressed that starting the conversation and debate about legalizing and regulating cannabis in Ghana would lead to policy change in the country. He also said that it had the potential to set a precedent for other countries in Africa.
And why not?
As of 2016, Ghana ranked third in worldwide consumption of cannabis. Experts even say that if African countries start to legalize and regulate the plant, it would create thousands of jobs continent-wide and rake in almost 80 billion dollars a year. The money alone should be a reason to legalize it—everyone knows that the green brings in more green.
Sources have even confirmed that Swaziland, Malawi and Zimbabwe are also considering the possibility of regulating cannabis.
Final Hit: Marijuana Legalization Popular in Africa
While cannabis remains illegal in the vast majority of Africa, some countries are making strides in the right direction. Is marijuana legalization popular in Africa? Looks like it. Now that Lesotho has authorized a medical company to cultivate and sell the plant for scientific and medicinal purposes, other countries may follow suit. Experts predict that Ghana will be the next African country to regulate cannabis. Time can only tell if the predictions will come true. We’ll keep you updated.