July 11, 2020//-Marijuana use has a long history. Its production started for medical reasons, probably in Asia somewhere around 500 BCE. Cannabis was later introduced to Africa, Europe, and America, where colonies grew crops and used them for textiles.
Criminalization of marijuana in the US started around 1906, but today many states are willing to change its status and allow recreational and medical use of cannabis.
According to marijuana legalization statistics, recreational use is allowed in 11 states and medical cannabis is legal in 33.
And while the cannabis market size in the US was valued at $11.3 billion in 2018, and North America held the largest revenue share at 88.4% in 2019, there’s another continent that has the potential to reach similar heights—Africa.
Many African countries are hoping that cannabis production will pull them out of poverty. The global cannabis industry is expecting a boom on this continent since, at the moment, Africa has seven legal cannabis producers.
What makes Africa suitable for commercial cannabis production is the massive consumer market and adequate climate. According to the African Cannabis Report, the African cannabis market could reach $7.1 billion by 2023.
Current Status of Cannabis in Africa
2018 brought a change to the cannabis status in Africa. The Constitutional Court in Johannesburg ruled that an adult person may use or be in possession of cannabis for personal use.
Possession and usage were no longer criminal offenses, and neither was cannabis cultivation in a private place. Still, smoking marijuana in public next to children or non-consenting adults was not allowed.
A fully regulated market still doesn’t exist, though. Out of 54 countries in Africa, only four allow medical marijuana use—Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Ghana, while the law in Zambia regarding medical use hasn’t been enacted yet. African countries don’t have specific laws regarding recreational use. Still, as stated above, consumption in private and cultivation for personal use are allowed.
Africa as the Future Cannabis Giant
Legalization across the continent could result in greater market, export opportunities, and legal job openings. If the forecasts about the cannabis market being worth $7.1 billion prove correct, the recreational market is likely to lead the way with the potential to reach $6.3 billion. For the sake of comparison, the medical cannabis market will be drastically smaller, valued at about $800 million.
With cannabis legalization, Africa has the option to diversify the economy and attract foreign investors. Malawi established the Cannabis Regulatory Authority, which will issue licenses for growing, processing, storing, selling, exporting, and distribution of marijuana.
Cannabis Regulatory Authority also has the power to give permits to institutions and firms to conduct scientific research.
Cannabis products are becoming more and more popular. Cannabidiol, a natural cannabis plant compound, is well-known for its therapeutic benefits. It helps to relieve pain, anxiety, and nervousness as well as to overcome the post-traumatic syndrome. When you purchase products at cannablossom.co, you can look forward to a variety of benefits. You can look great deals and excellent value for money inside the website.
Foreign Investors Are Flooding In
Lesotho has already attracted multiple foreign investors, such as The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc, that invested $7.45 million in Medigrow, Lesotho.
Aphria Inc, another Canadian company, formed a joint venture CannInvest Africa and acquired a stake in the licensed producer of medical marijuana extracts.
By far, the biggest deal Lesotho saw was made by Canopy Growth Corporation in May 2018. This company bought Daddy Cann Lesotho PTY Ltd., which has a license to cultivate, produce, supply, import, export, and transport cannabis and cannabis resin. At the time, the value of this deal was CA$28.8 million (currently about $21.2 million).
Cannabis Farming Options
Due to the high interest of foreign investors, Africa will have two options for cannabis production. The cultivation can either go through small farms that will send out the product to the established center for further testing and processing or foreign investments that can establish local partnerships.
International investors will then become essential partners that can affect the construction of the industry’s infrastructure. Two things are certain—Africa will need to focus on economic development, and cannabis cultivation can create many job opportunities.
Africa Teaming up with Israel
When it comes to cannabis, Israel has high concentrations of talent and technology and is a global leader in advanced marijuana production. This makes Israel a perfect partner for Africa’s cannabis market.
It can offer better standardization and ensure growth of Africa’s marijuana industry. The marriage of Africa’s crops and Israel’s expertise and technology also has the power to present a high-quality, cannabis-based, and cost-effective medicine to the patients globally.
African cannabis companies also work with pharmaceuticals. For example, the Ugandan Cannabis Company teamed up with TogetherPharma, an Israeli company, and exported 250 kg of medical cannabis to Israel for a medical study.
Marijuana is slowly taking over the world, as many countries decided to legalize it for recreational and medicinal use.
North America is currently number one in the global cannabis market, but Africa might soon join it. Cannabis is still illegal, yet allowed for personal use.
The future of the cannabis industry in Africa could see better legislation, which can attract more foreign investors in areas of marijuana production and medicinal testing.
Foreign investors might play a key role in strengthening Africa’s cannabis industry and helping economic development. The critical player is Israel, offering knowledge and technology to Africa’s growing marijuana industry to help expand it globally.
African Eye Report