Monday, 21 May 2018

Government Suspends Mbanje Licensing!

Government has suspended the licensing and growing of marijuana — popularly known as mbanje. Last month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration gazetted licence fees for those interested in growing cannabis (mbanje) for research and medicinal purposes.

This was seen as part of strategies to shore up revenue flows to the depressed fiscus.

The development, which had divided opinion in the hugely polarised southern African nation, had made Zimbabwe the second country in Africa to legalise cultivation of the plant after the tiny kingdom of Lesotho announced the continent’s first licence to grow cannabis legally last year.

Until now, it had been illegal to grow, possess or use cannabis in Zimbabwe, with offenders facing up to 12 years in jail. But in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday last Thursday, deputy Finance minister Terrence Mukupe said the licensing of the dangerous high-street value drug had been put on ice to enable government to plug loopholes that might arise in future.
Government Suspends Mbanje Licensing!
Mukupe revealed there has been an overwhelming response to the licences, with over 350 applications being made to the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), which is responsible for protecting public and animal health by ensuring that accessible medicines and allied substances and medical devices are safe, effective and of good quality through enforcement or adherence to standards by manufacturers and distributors.
“All the applications had been submitted to MCAZ, but what has since happened is that MCAZ has put everything on hold,” he said, adding “ ... the response was quite overwhelming”.

“MCAZ has put on hold licensing until they are pretty clear in terms of all the modalities like; how do we actually implement?” Mukupe said.

He said government needed to conduct a “proper feasibility study” first. Daily News
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