The emerging cannabis industry in Africa is poised for massive growth, according to The African Cannabis Report by Prohibition Partners. The report predicts that between timely cannabis reform efforts, the growing international market, and fading revenue from the region’s tobacco farmers, Africa’s legal cannabis market could be worth more than $7.1 billion USD by the close of 2023.
While the crop remains largely illegal or at least unregulated across much of the continent, the United Nations estimates that cultivators in Africa grow about 38,000 tons of cannabis per year and the overall cannabis consumption rate is relatively high at 13.8%, the report said. The authors also note that “the region has a wealth of experience in cannabis cultivation” because, despite its prohibition, a good deal of farmers have pivoted to growing cannabis as high unemployment rates and declining global demand for tobacco crops hurt the economies of many African countries.
“From a financial standpoint, the 50+ states and territories which comprise Africa could reap significant rewards through the legalisation of cannabis with international demand offering a strong opportunity to unlock the potential value of Africa’s legally produced cannabis.” — Excerpt from The African Cannabis Report by Prohibition Partners
Medical cannabis is currently legal in Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe; medical cannabis has also been legalized in Zambia but the country has yet to fully enact the policy, the report said.
South Africa opted to decriminalize the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis in 2018.
A 2018 report by New Frontier Data found that one-third of the world’s cannabis consumers live in Africa.
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