The latest African nation set to legalize the farming of marijuana is Malawi. The nation says it is in a bid to boost the country’s economy. This comes as the primary commodity for foreign exchange tobacco starts feeling the impact of the global anti-smoking lobby. The global anti-smoking lobby led by the World Health Organisation.
The country’s parliament passed the bill to legalize medicinal and industrial hemp. However, the country’s national assembly has to approve the bill before it goes into effect.
Also, the government answered the call by Various stakeholders in the hemp industry. The stakeholders want the country’s legislation to speed up the process so that the state can have an alternative force exchanger.
- Moroccan Marijuana Farmers now into Foreign Hybrids
- How cannabis legalization could affect the economy of South Africa
How Marijuana Cultivation can help Malawi’s Economy
Tobacco currently accounts for up to 60% of forex earnings for the country.
There is a global decline in the sale of tobacco. As of July, three of the world’s biggest tobacco companies lost up to 20% of their market value.
According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, The US company Atria is down 18%. Finally, American Tobacco lost 22% of its market value. Altria is the maker of Marlboro.
The countries industry is fighting with global change from cigarette smoking because of health concerns. For instance, in the US, there is a fall in cigarette smoking to a record low in 2017.
The decline saw just 14% of every adult in America smoking. This is a 67% decline from 42% of adults smoked in 1965.
The country is in a tight corner as the cost of tobacco commodities takes a hit. The prices at the auction this year were $1.58 per kilogram. In previous years, the prices were as low as 80 cents per kilogram.
Because of this decline, Malawi wants to supplement the tobacco industry with industrial marijuana to increase its options and revenue.
According to a member of the parliament, “We needed to have jumped on this window already, as it has been proven on the international market that the crop is lucrative, so to legalize this crop will be very vital for Malawi.”
Industrial hemp can offer a massive boost to the economy. According to reports, 2500 plants on an acre of land can get as much as $60,000 in the US. However, in the US, it can only get as much in states where hemp is legal.
The price of tobacco in Malawi for an acre with 2500 tobacco in Malawi is about $ 5000.
Other African countries where hemp growing is legal include Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Morocco, and South Africa.