A renowned economist has warned the government and parliament to weigh the merits and demerits of the legalization of industrial and medicinal hemp in the country.
Dalitso Kubalasa, the executive director of Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) said there is need for a critical analysis of the economic merits of the industrial and medicinal hemp.
“We should first look at the demerits so that we have a win-win situation,” he said.
The chairman of the parliamentary committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Joseph Chidanti Malunga said there was need for more research and civic education on industrial and medicinal hemp.
Malunga said the government should put legislation to ensure that the hemp benefits ordinary people. Parliament has given a go ahead to Ntchisi north legislator Boniface Kadzamira to move a motion in the House to legalise the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp.
The parliamentarians said this on Thursday when they debated on the issue.
Kadzamira told the suspicious legislators that the industrial hemp is very different from chamba in that the hemp is used to manufacture priducts such as clothes and shoes as well as manufacturing of medicine.
He told the parliamentarians that even if people smoke it, they cannot be intoxicated.
“The country will still have the laws which outlaw chamba,” he said.
He said farmers wishing to grow the industrial hemp will be legally registered with the government before they will be allowed to cultivate it.
Experts say the industrial hemp is a likely crop to replace tobacco, saying the industrial hemp does not need firewood as is the case with the leaf.
Lilongwe University of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Chitedze Research Station have given a go ahead to government to legalise Indian hemp.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :