Zimbabwe officials have approved the nation’s first legal cannabis farm – a 10-hectare cultivation site at a prison, the Independent reports. The license was granted to Ivory Medical nearly a year after the government legalized cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes.
The prison was chosen as a grow site because of its high security and Ivory is reportedly planning to expand the site by an additional 80 hectares. The company is leasing the space from the government. The company is partnering with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare on the project – which is partly funded by NSK Holdings & International Investors – and Portuguese firm Symtomax, who will provide technical and farming techniques, according to a Caj News report.
Ivory plans to produce extracts from the plants for both domestic and export purposes. Zimbabwe officials expect the nation will see $7 billion by 2023 from cannabis export sales, according to the Caj News report.
Under the 2018 law, cannabis cultivators in Zimbabwe are subject to a $10,000 application fee and can only import and export products out of the Robert Mugabe International Airport. Zimbabwe is the second African nation to legalize cannabis for medical use, following Lesotho, along with South Africa.
Last year, Zimbabwe officials stalled the licensing process after the government received more than 350 applications that offered wildly different estimates with regard to how much money could be made on how much land.
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