It is no news that cannabis consumption and use is regarded as illegal in many parts of the African continent. However, the African Cannabis Report has revealed that if well harnessed by 2023 the cannabis could yield up to $7.1 billion in yearly revenue. The caveat should be that the industry should be fully regulated and legalized.
In plain terms, it is safe to say that almost all African countries are making a major stream of income illegal. In Kenya for example, the anti-narcotics recently made a clean sweep of the country to ensure that the cultivation and consumption of cannabis are stopped. The report also reveals that on a yearly basis, major cannabis plantations are set ablaze and destroyed.
In Gabon, the consumption of cannabis attracts a prison term of between 6 months to 2 years and this is just one among many other African countries. On the continent, only South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho have adopted frameworks that allow for the cultivation and use of cannabis. South Africa has even taken it a step further by allowing for the private cultivation and use of cannabis.
Even though governments on the continent have declared cannabis illegal it is still tolerated in most places. In fact, we could say the cultivation, sale, and consumption of cannabis is already intertwined into African society. It has been used medicinally as well as for recreational purposes in several parts of Africa. A vivid example is the Basotho people who have cultivated and used cannabis sativa for over a thousand years.
Looking at the situation critically one will notice that the bias against cannabis is just a result of internalized colonialism and basic intellectual laziness. To grow the industry on African soil it is important to look beyond these laws and see the vast opportunities that abound in the sector. This is the time to embrace the amazing amount of revenue in the cannabis sector just like the countries of the Caribbean and make our people richer.