Potential value of Zim’s cannabis exports seen at US$1.25bn in 2021

By Almot Maqolo

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Zimbabwe’s finance minister Mthuli Ncube said cannabis production has immense potential to generate billions of dollars in export receipts and tax revenues.

In recognition of the immense benefits that can accrue to the country from cannabis exports, the Government promulgated legislation to govern the production, procurement, distribution, possession, sale, provision and transportation of the crop.

“The potential value of cannabis exports for medicinal purposes is estimated at about US$1.25 billion for the year 2021,” Ncube said while presenting the 2021 National Budget Statement in parliament today.

He proposed to introduce a Cannabis Levy, chargeable on the value of exports, at the following varied rates of tax that correspond to the level of processing: 10% on the export sales value of finished packaged medicinal cannabis oils that are ready for resale and 15% on the export sales values of bulk extracted medicinal cannabis oils that require further processing and/ or packaging.

Also 20% on the export sales value of dried medicinal cannabis flowers.

In 2018, the southern African nation made it possible for both individuals and companies to apply for licences to grow cannabis. Previously, production and possession of the drug was illegal and attracted a sentence of up to 12 years.

However, the recreational use or possession of the drug remains illegal.

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