Red Sun Rising

CANNABIS CULTURE – How Malawi Plans to Overtake Africa’s Cannabis Pace-Setters

“Surprisingly, Malawi, a world tobacco crop darling, remained a medical cannabis backwater whilst her regional neighbors South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho moved quickly to strike deals with European and Canadian cannabis firms,” Deogracious Kalima, an ecology consultant in Blantyre, the commercial capital of Malawi who has worked with FAO on sustainability in the past tells Cannabis Culture. 

“Minimal paperwork on medical cannabis; onboarding startups willing to experiment; freeing up fresh land; that’s the game plan,” Wallis Banda, cannabis investors liaison manager for Malawi’s agriculture ministry, explained the game plan to Cannabis Culture.

Quick catch-up

Malawi is mastering the economics of cannabis for export and starting to grab serious from abroad, added Banda. 

At the heart of Malawi’s lighting-speed catch-up is the simplicity of rules: license fees to cultivate and cannabis for export and the licenses to process medical cannabis has been pegged at US$10,000; while the license fee to grow and sell industrial hemp is around US$2,000 – with minimal paperwork required unlike in her neighboring rival countries like South Africa where licensing requires a mountain of paperwork. 

“We shouldn’t have to catch up,” said Banda. “Historically Malawi was

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