Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza has said President Peter Mutharika has approved the cultivation of industrial hemp.
The Minister has however said that the approval is for trial purposes in the country and explained that the industrial hemp is not the same as much talked about and known Indian hemp.
“Let me point out that industrial hemp is different from the much talked Indian hemp chamba or Cannabis Sativa] that is prohibited. This [industrial] hemp does not contain the psychoactive chemical elements that affect people when smoked even though it is from the same family of crops,” Chiyembekeza is quoted in a local paper.
Legalization of hemp has been of public debate in the country and during the last sitting of Parliament, it was also an issue in the House.
And University of Malawi economic professor based at Chancellor College in eastern city of Zomba, Ben Kalua said industrial Hemp has the potential to steer the country’s economy towards recovery.
Ntchisi North Member of Parliament Boniface Kadzamira who raised the issue during the last sitting of parliament said time has come for Malawi to wake up and reap from its resources.
The recent research which was led by Dr Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv University, revealed that Cannabis could be used in medicinal form to speed up the healing of broken bones.
Cannabis reportedly has a number of health benefits. A 2014 study found that THC reduced tumour growth in an aggressive strain of brain cancer within mice with virtually no psychotropic side-effects