Zimbabwean Company Plants First Authorized Hemp Seeds

A company in Zimbabwe sowed the first legalized hemp seeds in the country last Friday. The momentous event happened at a prison in Harare, the nation’s capital, after the legalization of industrial cannabis production the previous month.

Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust (ZIHT) planted six different types of hemp or industrial cannabis. The company said that they selected the prison yard amongst other locations for “convenience,” given that it already has strict security.

Perence Shiri, the country’s  Agriculture Minister, said at the launch that the project is the first-ever event of its kind in the nation’s history. He added that the pilot project would give vital information and knowledge for the prosperous manufacturing of the crop. Shiri also noted that the advantage they’ll get from the production of hemp would be varied and enormous.

Zimbabwe authorized the production of hemp for scientific and medicinal purposes the previous year. The legalization of its industrial use, however, came late in September.

ZIHT is the first company given a cannabis license in the country.  Dentist Zorodzai Maroveke, the organization’s founder, noted she found the opportunities in hemp production after she purchased a dress made of hemp fabric while studying in China.

The healthy ministry provides growers licenses to qualified organizations, which has a validity period for up to 5 years. They are, however, confined to stringent cultivation requirements.

While cannabis use was formerly prohibited in Zimbabwe, it has been extensively used in traditional medicine for the treatment of specific conditions like epilepsy and asthma.

Possession of recreational hemp is still prohibited, and anyone caught can spend time in jail for up a maximum of 12 years.