By Roland Sebestyén
Although their strict cannabis policy remains in place, Rwanda stepped into the CBD market. According to reports, the small African country is ready to make growing and exporting medical cannabis products easier for the businesses involved in the future.
It is confirmed that in a historic move, the government of Rwanda has approved the guidelines for the production and export of medical cannabis.
While Rwanda is still one of the almost 150 countries where medical cannabis is illegal, this decision by Kigali allows them to take the next step and do business with the key parties worldwide.
(Even European countries have differing views around medical cannabis. Map: Canex)
It’s no secret that the plan is to export cannabis cultivated in Rwanda to the US, Canada, and the EU markets – however, domestic use will still be deemed illegal.
In a statement, they said: “Rwanda will begin to receive applications for licenses from interested investors for this high-value therapeutic crop.
“This investment framework does not affect the legal status of cannabis consumption in Rwanda, which remains prohibited.”
In Rwanda, consuming cannabis could be punishable by two years in jail. Dealers, on the other hand, could be sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi, said businesses involved would be closely monitored while cultivating cannabis.
She said: “Anyone licenced to grow cannabis will be required to have a very strong security program that has to be approved by our security organs.
“There will be strong measures including CCTV cameras, watchtowers, street lights and human security. This will ensure that the crop does not leave the farm to go to the local market.
“We are absolutely not going to allow any other use for the crop – even recreational use – other than medicinal research.”
It should be noted, though, that with this decision, the African country could be one of the beneficent from the global cannabis market, which, according to experts, would worth around $73b by 2027.