Kenya Should Legalise Medical Marijuana Growing as Lesotho and Zimbabwe Take the Lead

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By Kenya Confidential Medical Editor, Nairobi, May 6, 2014

Zimbabwe has legalized farming of marijuana (Cannabis Sativa commonly known as Bhang in Kenya) for medicinal and scientific uses. It follows in the footsteps of Lesotho, the tiny nation which last year became the first in Africa to issue a license for medical marijuana.

There is urgent need for the Kenya government to follow suit in order to decrimilise use of Cannabis Sativa for medical purposes and cash in on a trillions of shillings windfall that will come with its sales. Further delay makes no economic sense when scientific evidence show Cannabis is the key to lock out addictive pain killers, killing thousands globally. Read – http://kenyaconfidential.com/2018/01/18/cannabis-could-kill-painkillers/

Kenya Confidential can report today that some government legal and security cabinet ministers (names withheld) for decades were among some horticultural exporters of Cannabis Sativa to Europe for years concealed among flowers. The exports went undetected to the capitals of Netherlands and Britain for decades under insider trade agreements.

The government should enact strict law and regulations to ensure Medical Cannabis farming and use are strictly controlled to avoid abuse and tax appropriately the income generated by the window. Recent interceptions of large quantities of Cannabis Sativa are a clear indication that plantations of illicit farms abound in many parts of Kenya and the neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania. Availability of medical and recreational Cannabis will stop or reduce the illegal growing.

It could also put on check the habit of police officers claiming rats eat Cannabis Sativa exhibits in their custody. In 2015 Kwale Resident Magistrate Paul Mutai told that the rodents that had invaded Kwale police station where some exhibits were kept and fed on 1,710 rolls of bhang.But what was baffling was the fact that the rats had not punched holes in the four suitcases containing the exhibits, raising questions as to how they could have consumed the bhang therein.

Rolls of Cannabis Sativa in Kwale Court allegedly smoked away by rats

Zimbabwe has been considering legalizing the drug for a number of months, and will now become one of the few countries able to turn it into a source of revenue. It is now possible to request a license to grow marijuana, according to a recently issued government notice that was released by the country’s health minister. Both individuals and companies can apply.

Previously, production and possession of the drug could bring up to 12 years in prison, although recreational use remains illegal. The move is a step away from Zimbabwe’s traditionally tough stance on drugs.

In the past, members of parliament in the largely conservative country who had advocated for legalisation were often mocked. Most of Africa still criminalises the production and use of marijuana but countries including Malawi and Ghana are reportedly exploring ways they too can legalise it.

A South African court last year ruled that private use of marijuana was legal but the government appealed against the ruling at the constitutional court.

Africa comes second after the Americas in terms of production and consumption of cannabis, according to the United Nations’ 2017 World Drug Report.

Meanwhile, California has been at the forefront of American innovation for decades now. In fact, it’s most responsible for our newfound, rapidly-expanding marijuana renaissance. Remember, it was California that first legalized medical marijuana all the way back in 1996. It was ahead of its time then, and it’s ahead of its time now.

It’s the world’s sixth-largest economy, and it’s home to 53 Fortune 500 companies. We’re talking about monstrous growth stories like Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook.

And of course, one of the reasons so many companies continue to take off from California is that the state is flush with venture capital. Indeed, California’s pockets are the deepest in the country, making up 46% of all total U.S. venture capital funding.

So even though the state just launched recreational pot sales on January 1, it’s home to many cannabis-based startups pioneering innovation. That includes the massive brain trust that is Silicon Valley, where MIT tech gurus and Harvard grads are already at work on breakthrough technology.

We’re talking about solvent extractors that squeeze as much THC as possible from cannabis plants. We’re talking about plug-and-plant grow systems for home-growers. And we’re talking about vaporizers, which have quickly unseated joints and bongs as the go-to instruments for smoking.

One company has a vaporizer that features full app integration and games built into the device. And none other than Apple has filed a patent for a vaporizer of its own. But of course, now that California has entered the recreational weed market, things are about to really jump off.

The total market will be worth more than $5 billion this year. And it will only get bigger. There are nearly 14 million adults over the age of 21 in the Los Angeles Greater Metropolitan Area and approximately 5.3 million of those people are cannabis consumers.

Furthermore, the Golden State gets more than 260 million out-of-state visitors every year. And those tourists spend more than $122 billion annually on leisure goods and services. Consider, for instance, that tourists spend an estimated $7.2 billion a year on wine. Imagine how much they’ll spend on cannabis products which, unlike wine, aren’t fully legal and sold everywhere.

In fact, the market is so big already the state of California is trying to form its own bank just to handle marijuana money.

Under US federal law, offering banking services to cannabis businesses can qualify as money laundering. So right now it’s strictly a cash business. But California wants to fix that problem by creating a taxpayer-backed bank to handle the cash coming in — one that doesn’t fall under control of the federal government since it still lists marijuana as illegal.

That is why so many marijuana companies look to California as the land of opportunity. And if and when the federal government does finally come to support cannabis legalization, it would ultimately culminate in a $100 billion market.

And investors should too.  That’s why our own Jimmy Mengel, Investment Director of The Marijuana Manifesto, made it the focus of his latest report.

Jimmy went to the heart of California’s Silicon Valley and came back with an opportunity so big it has its own secret code name. It’s called “Project IVXX,” and it’s a program for creating and producing proprietary blends of marijuana.

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