Workers pick leaves from cannabis plants inside a greenhouse in Lesotho. Guillem Sartorio - AFP/Getty Images

Zambia Officially Legalizes Marijuana Production

As the general attitude towards cannabis continues to change globally, multiple countries have chosen to legalize the plant and cash-in on its high demand.

Zambia recently became the latest country to legalize the profitable plant in hopes that it could improve the nation’s finances.

The approval for the export of cannabis was granted at a special cabinet meeting on Dec. 4, spokeswoman Dora Siliya said in a statement.

The decision comes due to a hefty fiscal deficit and growing debt burden. According to Reuters growth in external debt to $10.5 billion at the end of 2018 from $8.74 billion a year earlier has raised fears the country is headed for a debt crisis.

While the decision makes Zambia the latest country to reconsider its stance on the use of the plant, to boost its finances, it has not been made clear if the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been legalised, as per the statement released by Siliya.

The country will also be hoping to recover from the bad weather that’s hit crop production and electricity generation by using the profits that can be made from the marijuana industry.

The President of Zambia’s Green Party, Peter Sinkamba, who’s an advocate for the legalization of marijuana estimates that the country could make up to $36 billion annually from the legalization of the plant.   

The global market for medical cannabis is estimated at $150 billion and could potentially reach $272 million in 2028, according to Barclays Bank.