Zimbabwe has launched a USD27 million (Ksh3,137,400,000) medical cannabis farm and processing plant, to become one of the first African nations to start processing medical cannabis in Africa.
Speaking during the launch, President Emerson Mnangagwa said that since 2018, 57 entities have been issued with cannabis operating licences, although only 15 have been operational.
The Swiss Biocieuticals medical cannabis farm and processing plant has been set up at Mount Hampden by Swiss Biocieuticals Limited.
“This milestone is a testimony of the successes of my Government’s Engagement and Re-engagement Policy. It further demonstrates the confidence that Swiss companies have in our economy through their continued investment in Zimbabwe. I extend my profound congratulations to the Swiss Biocieuticals Limited for this timely investment in the medicinal cannabis farm, processing plant and value chain, worth US$27 million,” President Mnangagwa said.
"I challenge other players within the medicinal cannabis sub-sector to speedily set up their enterprises, focusing on value addition and beneficiation. It is disappointing that since 2018, only 15 out of the 57 entities issued with cannabis operating licences have been operational."
As of 2021, there were over 10 countries that had legalised cannabis, popularly known as marijuana or bhang. The countries include Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, Uruguay, South Africa, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Colombia, Belize and The Czech Republic. In some of these countries, however, use of cannabis in public places is still prohibited.
According to the Havard health department, most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is used for pain control.
"While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. Part of its allure is that it is clearly safer than opiates (it is impossible to overdose on and far less addictive) and it can take the place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve, if people can’t take them due to problems with their kidneys or ulcers or GERD," says Havard in a blogpost.
The blogpost also says that Cannabis is also used to manage nausea and weight loss and can be used to treat glaucoma.
Other benefits mentioned include relieving insomnia, anxiety, spasticity, and pain to treating potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy.
However, the medical aspect of cannabis is not universally accepted and is still a matter of discussion in the medical sphere.