Rwanda to allow cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes

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MOROCCO - MARCH 5: Cannabis plantation near Ketama, Rif mountains, Morocco. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
A cannabis plantation near Ketama in Morocco’s Rif Mountains, Morocco. Rwanda has announced its intention to join other African countries like Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Malawi in allowing the legal export of cannabis. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The Rwandan government will issue licenses for growing cannabis for medical use, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said late Tuesday, following Monday’s cabinet decision that approved the regulatory guidelines on the cultivation, processing and export of high-value therapeutic crops.

The central African nation will begin to receive applications for licenses from investors interested in cannabis, though cannabis consumption in the country still remains prohibited, the RDB said in a statement.

“Medical cannabis produced in Rwanda is solely for export markets,” it said, adding that the government of Rwanda expects to generate significant export revenues and employment opportunities in high-value agriculture and agro-processing.

Speaking on the national broadcaster Rwanda Television earlier in the day, Rwandan Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije said the country has been importing cannabis for medical purposes, but going forward, the country should be able to supply the herb.

He also warned that that relevant laws and guidelines on cultivating and exporting cannabis in Rwanda will be strictly implemented and the government will not allow the abuse of cannabis such as smoking, which is criminalized by the law.

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