Rwanda has approved the cultivation, processing, and exportation of marijuana for medical treatment.
The regulatory guidelines for the production and export of medical cannabis sativa were approved by the Cabinet on Monday, 12th October.
In a statement issued in Kigali, Rwanda Development Board CEO Clare Akamanzi said the government would begin to receive applications for licences from interested investors for “this high-value therapeutic crop”.
However, she clarified that the consumption of cannabis in Rwanda remains prohibited.
“Medical cannabis produced in Rwanda is solely for the export markets. Rwanda is a signatory to all UN conventions relating to narcotics and will continue to ensure full compliance with international law,” said Akamanzi.
The Rwandan Government expects the new venture to generate jobs and create business through the cultivation, production, and processing zones.
Rwanda becomes the latest African country to legalise the growing of marijuana. Other African countries that have sanctioned medical marijuana are Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, while Uganda, Ghana, and Lesotho are considering venturing into the market.
What is medical marijuana?
According to WebMD, medical marijuana uses the cannabis plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.
The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the “high” people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.