Business is starting to trump morality in Africa’s cannabis industry

By Stephen Kafeero

The prospect of legalized cannabis in Africa, unimaginable less than a decade ago, is accelerating, driven by the potential for much-needed revenue and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Generations of Africans have faced the wrath of colonial era and morality laws surrounding cannabis use, with many involved in cultivating and selling the plant jailed, forced to operate underground, or had their livelihoods destroyed. But as governments search for more sources of revenue, this once-closed space is opening up, albeit not necessarily for smallholder growers or local consumption.

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