The Rwandan government has approved the cultivation and export of cannabis even as the use of the stimulant for medical or recreational purposes.

The central African nation will begin to receive applications for licenses from investors interested in cannabis, though cannabis consumption in the country still remains prohibited, the Rwanda Development Board said in a statement.

“The regulatory guidelines approved by Cabinet on 12 October 2020 provide a framework for investment in the production and processing of medical cannabis in Rwanda for export to growing global markets. Rwanda will begin to receive applicants for licenses from interested investors for this high-value therapeutic crop,” reads part of the statement from Clare Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board.

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The decision has caused confusion with some warning it could be detrimental to the youth if tough controls are not enforced.

“This investment framework does not affect the legal status of cannabis consumption in Rwanda, which remains prohibited. Medical cannabis produced in Rwanda ids solely for export markets. Rwanda is a signatory to all relevant UN conventions relating to narcotics, and will continue to ensure full compliance with international law,” the statement further reads.

The government of Rwanda expects the sector to generate significant export revenues and employment opportunities in high-value agriculture and agro-processing. A special export levy will be introduced to incentive domestic value addition and generate additional government revenue.

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