PRODUCTION AND EXPORT OF CANNABIS has been legalized in Zambia.  It will serve economic and medical purposes to boost the country’s economy. Zambia is the latest addition to countries that shifted position on the use of the drug to boost their finances.

Dora Siliva, spokesperson for Zambian government, Monday, in a statement said the approval for the export of cannabis was granted at special cabinet meeting, December 4.  Zambia has been under growing debt burden.  Its external debt grew to $10.5 billion at the end of 2018, from $8.74 billion, a year earlier.

There are growing concerns that Zambia could be heading for debt crisis. The country’s growth forecast for 2019, was cut in September, due to inclement weather that knockout crop production and electricity generation. In the medium term, International Monetary Fund, IMF, said growth in Zambia’s economy would, likely, remain subdued.

It would delight Zambian opposition Green Party, President Peter Sinkamba, that government has legalized and approved cannabis exports to boost the country’s economy. He has been an advocate for the exports of cannabis since 2013.  Sinkamba said the move could earn Zambia up to $36 billion annually.

“Depending on how properly this is done, this could just change the face of Zambia’s economy. This could be a blessing or a curse, like diamonds and gold, depending on the policy direction,” Sinkamba said.

Zambian government, according to Siliva, directed the ministry of health to coordinate issuance of necessary licenses. Technical committee, made up of ministers from different departments of government would come up with guidelines to enhance efficient implementation of the cannabis exports policy.

Zambia joins nations that have legalized, or, considering legalizing cannabis for its scientifically proven medical and economic benefits. This could motivate investment in it.