Medical Cannabis in Africa
Medical cannabis use is driving industry revenues into the billions. The global medical cannabis market size was estimated to be more than US$ 11 Billion in 2017. The market value is further expected to reach around US$ 37 Billion by 2023, exhibiting a CAGR of around 22% during 2017-2023.
Cannabis has traditionally been used medicinally for several years in ancient Indian, Chinese, Egyptian and Islamic cultures. Physicians are aware of increasingly widespread medical marijuana legalization and most are interested in understanding the potential of these treatments. It is used to treat a wide range of illnesses, from childhood epilepsy to glaucoma, migraines, epilepsy, MS, AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, etc.
Owing to its therapeutic benefits, cannabis has been approved for medical use in numerous countries, with varying degrees of legal restriction. Some of these countries include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, etc.
African nations have been reluctant to get in on the business, with conservative governments fearful of encouraging recreational drug use. The market is however about to change with Africa’s first license to legally deal in medicinal marijuana issued by Lesotho. Zimbabwe followed suit after Lesotho legalizing also for medicinal and research purposes.
1. Lesotho – Legal for medicinal and research
2. Zimbabwe – Legal for medicinal and research
3. Malawi – Well known for its “Malawi Gold Strain” of cannabis. Government is cultivating hemp on trial basis
4. Eswatini (previously known as Swaziland) currently exploring legalization