Zimbabwe to charge marijuana growers $50,000

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A journalist in Zimbabwe has tweeted that Zimbabwe’s government will charge as much as $50,000 (£36,000) for licences to grow cannabis.

The government announced this weekend that that individuals and businesses would be able to apply for licences to cultivate cannabis for medicinal or scientific use.

Zimbabwe the second African country to legalise growing cannabis after Lesotho did so last year.

Exiled former spin doctor for Robert Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo, also took to Twitter to say that ‘Zimbabwe’s Ganja project’ was made during Robert Mugabe’s time as president.

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However, the hefty fees and cumbersome steps to be followed before obtaining a licence to grow cannabis may undermine the project.

In addition to the $50,000 application fee, the Dangerous Drugs Act stipulates fees for conducting research ($5,000), renewal of licence to produce cannabis ($20,000) and annual return fees of $15,000 among others.

Producers of cannabis must be licensed by the minister of health, who will verify proof of citizenship or residence and also approve a detailed description of the method that the applicant proposes to use for keeping records.

Applications should include plans of the growing site, quantity to be produced and sold and the production period.

Previously, production and use of marijuana has been illegal in the country and possession of the drug attracted sentences of up to 12 years in jail.

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