Rwanda has approved the cultivation and export of cannabis but the use of the stimulant remains illegal in the East African country.
Reports by the East African stated that a Cabinet meeting, chaired by President Paul Kagame, approved regulatory guidelines on cultivation, processing, and export of “high-value therapeutic crops”.
The country's Minister of Health Dr Daniel Ngamije said that despite the government’s intention to profit from the production and export of marijuana, its use in the country is prohibited.
“This will not give an excuse for drug abusers and dealers. The law against narcotics is available and it will continue to be enforced,” Dr Ngamije said.
Doctors are banned from prescribing it as medicine, and doing so could land them in jail.
Rwanda has joined African countries like Malawi that have legalised or are considering legalising cannabis to some degree.
The global market for medical cannabis is currently estimated at $150 billion and could reach $272 billion in 2028, according to Barclays Bank.
In 2017, Lesotho became the first African country to allow the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Zimbabwe also allows individuals and companies to be licensed to cultivate marijuana.
South Africa’s constitutional court paved way for the relaxation of laws on drug use and consumption when it ruled that private use of marijuana, is not a criminal offence.
The Zambian government legalized the export of the stimulant after fears that the country was headed for a debt crisis.
Zambian government directed the ministry of health to coordinate the issuance of the necessary licences while a technical committee made up of ministers from a range of departments would come up with guidelines.