Parliament has today revised legislation effectively legalizing the cultivation of a particular species of cannabis (industrial hemp).
Speaking in the August House, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said Malawi will benefit from the legalization of the cannabis.
He stressed the legalised type of cannabis is medicinal and for use in industrial spaces as opposed to recreational use.
“We have been sitting the issue of legalizing cannabis for a long time. Other countries have benefited a lot from cannabis legalization and we believe that Malawi will achieve a lot from the legalisation today,” he said.
He said farmers will start growing the crop in the next growing season.
Nankhumwa added that farmers will be getting licenses that will allow them to grow, process and export the cannabis products.
He said they are going to establish a Cannabis Regulatory Authority but in the interim, they will start issuing licences so that farmers van start growing it.
He, however, said there is need to civic educate the masses on the variety of cannabis that has been legalized.
“We will partner with media houses and other media outlets to disseminate information and civic educate Masses to know that kind of Cannabis we have legalized is not the Chamba that they know, ” said Nankhumwa.
Meanwhile, Nankhumwa said the penalty for those who will be breaking the laws related to cannabis is at K50 million or being imprisoned for 25 years.
The bill was brought in Parliament by former parliamentarian for Ntchisi North Boniface Kadzamira in 2014.