Lusaka- Zambia last week inched closer to regularising the cultivation, processing and export of medicinal and industrial cannabis after approving presentation of proposed laws in parliament.
Cabinet last week unanimously agreed to fast-track the legislation, which takes into account the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
Ministers said the Narcotics Convention would also be domesticated.
The government wants to designate land for medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp cultivation, and regulate licensing processing and exports.
Cannabis and hemp, said government spokesperson Dora Siliya, had potential to contribute to development.
Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba - who is an economist and environmental activist - said his newly established
Zambian Hemp Growers Industries Association was lobbying the government to expedite legislative prerequisites for cultivation and processing of cannabis and hemp.
“We don’t want to miss out on this coming rainy season, and we are ready to grow since we already have a piece of land and investors who are willing to work with us on this project,”he said.
Malawi fellow Southern African states South Zimbabwe in legalising medicinal cannabis.
Recreational use of cannabis remains illegal.