EXCLUSIVE STORY: Malawi has become the latest African country to pass the law that legalizes cannabis use with the Cannabis Regulation Act, 2022 coming into force last year in August.
Malawi’s progress comes at a time many countries on the African continent like Uganda are hesitating to venture into the cannabis trade.
And now, in a letter on 1st November, the Minister of Agriculture in Malawi Lobin Clarke Lowe, announced that Mike Tyson of United States Cannabis Association, USA had been appointed as Malawi’s cannabis brand ambassador. The former boxer will promote the cannabis interests of Malawi.
The legalization of cannabis in Malawi created opportunities for the legal cultivation of cannabis for both medicinal and industrial purposes, MP Lowe said in the letter to Tyson.
He added that this will offer the country an opportunity to diversify the country’s agricultural production and generate foreign exchange.
Early in November, Lowe urged cannabis growers to form cooperatives in order to have enhanced bargaining power, which is critical in realizing more benefits in their farming business.
The minister said cannabis production if taken seriously, has the potential to help the country in achieving the Malawi 2063 development blueprint, which has a pillar of agriculture commercialization.
The relationship with Tyson is not first Malawi is having with the United States Cannabis Association.
Recently, the Association’s chief executive officer, Wezzi Ngalamira, said his organization will act as a bridge between farmers and already identified buyer.
Ngalamira said the association will come up with a system whereby they are going to buy from different farmers and cooperatives on behalf of the US branch.
Fate of Cannabis Growing and Legal Use in Uganda
Unlike countries like Malawi and Rwanda that have moved a step further in advancing cannabis trade in their countries, Uganda is yet to put in place the necessary legislation to regulate the cannabis business.
While tens of companies applied for the license to farm and trade in cannabis, the country hasn’t been able to issue them with the authorization paperwork for them to embark on the cannabis adventure.
However, much to the chagrin of many companies, a select few companies are growing and exporting cannabis to Israel and other European countries like Germany.
Daily Monitor, a local newspaper, in October reported that Uganda had exported 400 kilograms of medical marijuana to Germany, the fourth delivery to foreign countries since the government permitted the business in the country.
According to the newspaper report, Industrial Hemp Uganda, a private firm licensed to grow and process medical cannabis, said it exported the marijuana on October 16.
Its director, Benjamin Cadet, said they have the capacity to produce 30 tonnes of medical marijuana annually.
This privilege has been criticized by companies whose license applications to trade in cannabis have been ignored and shelved saying Industrial Hemp Uganda is favored by government.
The aggrieved individuals and companies have repeatedly pleaded and begged government to open the cannabis business to no success.