The Zimbabwean government has reportedly set high licence fees for those wishing to farm cannabis.

According to Daily News, the government also reduced the prison terms of those “caught illegally dealing in the substance”.

Zimbabwe last week legalised production of cannabis for medicinal or scientific use.

A statutory instrument entitled Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Scientific Use Regulations, said prospective producers could apply to the health ministry for a licence to grow cannabis but under strict conditions, AFP reported.

“An application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee and three copies of a plan of the site proposed to be licensed,” read part of the regulations.

Individual producers must be citizens of the country or have proof that they are resident while companies must produce proof of incorporation in Zimbabwe, the regulations said.

A Zimbabwe situation report said that cannabis growers would be required to pay an annual return fee of $15 000 while an application to renew a producer’s licence will cost $20 000 and a licence to conduct research on cannabis had been pegged at $5 000.

Production and use of cannabis was illegal in Zimbabwe although the herb was widely used in traditional medicine to treat conditions like asthma, epilepsy and mental illness while some people use it as recreational drug and, supposedly, to make their hair grow quicker.

Production or possession of large quantities of cannabis attracted up to 12 years in jail.

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