Parliament legalises medicinal and industrial cannabis
On Thursday, 27th February 2020, Members of Parliament passed the Cannabis Regulation Bill of 2020. Presenting the bill to the August House, the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa, MP, informed the house that the bill seeks to decriminalize the cultivation, propagation, production, processing, storage, distribution and use of the cannabis plant for medicinal, industrial and scientific applications and usage.
“The Cannabis Regulation Bill seeks to create new economic opportunities and build up foreign exchange base through the emergence of properly regulated medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp industries and value chains,” Nankhumwa stated.
The Minister further informed the house that a Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) will be established to issue licenses, regulate the cultivation, distribution, exportation and importation of cannabis and perform any other functions in relation to the regulation of Cannabis Act.
Speaking in an interview, the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development said, “it is possible to have the bill in effect by the next growing season as the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development will establish a section within the Ministry to perform functions in relation to the regulation of the Cannabis Act whilst waiting for the establishment of the CRA as that might take a few years.”
Nankhumwa also informed of the need to civic educate the masses on the difference between chamba and the industrial and medicinal cannabis. He said, “the Ministry will partner with media houses in the country to implement civic education of the masses.”