The highest levels of cannabis production in the world take place on the African continent and a UN report states that the continent accounted for 10,500 metric tons or 25 per cent of the total bhang production globally.
According to the report, 19 out 53 African countries also reported the cultivation of bhang in their territory, and the highest rates were reported in West and Central Africa (13 per cent) followed by Southern Africa (8.5 per cent).
Further analysis by the researchers however revealed that the production was taking place in at least 43 African countries.
The report conducted in 2005 that also states that, there were about 38,200,000 users of the drug aged between 15 to 64 and translating to 7.7% of the population. This was far much higher than 3.8% globally.
35 African countries also reported seizing bhang in their territory because it was illegal to produce bhang in those territories.
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Advocates of the drug now believe Africa is missing out on could billions of dollars in exports to a rapidly expanding market of legal weed and only a few countries have allowed for legal production of the weed.
Here are Countries where bhang is legalized in Africa
Lesotho was the first African country to give a go ahead to the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Locally known as “matekoane” in Sesotho, bhang is the country’s third source of revenue and a report by Africa News stated that the country charges 30,000 euros for a one-year renewable licence to grow.
In 2019, South Africa’s constitutional court ruled on the relaxation of the laws stating that private use of “dagga” as it is locally referred to, was not illegal.
In the same year, Zimbabwe’s health Ministry allowed individuals and companies to cultivate marijuana, also known “mbanje.”
This was through the issuance of 5 year renewable licences to grow cannabis for medical and research purposes.
The country has a provision in the law that allows for the establishment of the Cannabis Regulatory Authority.
The Regulatory Authority is tasked with granting licenses to cultivate, process, store, sell, export and distribute bhang. The authority also issues permits to firms and institutions to conduct scientific research.
The other country will relaxed laws on bhang are Zambia.
The global market for medical bhang stands at an estimated $150 billion and is projected to reach $272 billion in 2028.