In a statement released on Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa’s behalf by his Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji, Parirenyatwa clarified reports that Government had suspended mbanje (cannabis) farming. He said Government had not suspended the growing of cannabis popularly known as mbanje for medicinal and scientific purposes.
He revealed that the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) is working on necessary provisions before implementation begins. Parirenyatwa’s comments comes after Deputy Finance Minister Terrence Mukupe indicated that Government had suspended mbanje farming. Said Parirenyatwa:
There has been some miscommunication from different sources which has caused misunderstanding with regards to Government’s position to create a framework through legislation, in which the growing, processing and marketing of cannabis and its products for medicinal and industrial use, by duly licensed and monitored entities is legalized. SI 62 of 2018 whose parent Act is The Dangerous Drugs Act (Chap 15:02) puts the legal framework for this and this SI has not been repealed nor has its implementation been suspended. The relevant licensing entity for the Ministry of Health And Child Care, MCAZ is ceased with developing the necessary further guidelines to help in operationalisation of this SI from a regulatory point of view. Secondly work in the actual production of cannabis and its products calls for a multi-sectoral or multi- agency approach as several entities including Ministries responsible for Agriculture, Finance, Home Affairs, Technology and Security are also in the process of fine-tuning their roles and facilitation in this new industry. It is worth reminding ourselves that this is not a licence to grow mbanje for recreational use, neither is it a license to sell mbanje on the streets, and it is certainly not a licence to smoke mbanje.
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