A cabinet minister in Zimbabwe has announced that the African nation is considering legalizing medical cannabis partially in an effort to attract investors to the country’s forthcoming Special Economic Zones, according to a state-run Sunday News report by cited by AllAfrica. Investment Promotion Minister Obert Mpofu said the idea was formed when a Canadian medical cannabis firm inquired about the possibility of cultivating cannabis in the zones.
At first, Mpofu thought the company wasn’t serious, but soon realized that medical cannabis production was big business.
“We have received numerous inquiries from investors who want to participate in the SEZs and one of them is a big international company that wants to be involved in the production of cannabis,” he said in the report. “This company is from Canada and it’s one of the biggest conglomerates in that country and they are producing cannabis for medical purposes under strict conditions.”
Mpofu said that he doesn’t “see anything wrong” with legalizing medical cannabis. Under current law, cannabis possession or cultivation is illegal in Zimbabwe punishable by jail.
The Special Economic Zones will offer investor incentives, including exemption from portions of the labor laws and black economic empowerment rules. They are currently being set up in Harare, Victoria Falls, and Bulawayo.