Zimbabwe made a landmark announcement last week to legalize marijuana for medical use and research in a countrywide legal notice. Last year, Lesotho issued the continent’s very first license to grow and provide marijuana delivery service legally around the country. This makes Zimbabwe the second African country to legalize cannabis cultivation.
Until now, anyone caught in Zimbabwe growing, possessing or using weed faced criminal charges, with convicted offenders spending as much as 12 years in jail. On Saturday, David Parirenyatwa, Zimbabwe’s Health Minister, published new regulations, which allow both companies and individuals to cultivate mbanje, the local name for marijuana. However, they must have licenses to do so.
Licenses will stand for five years, after which they will be renewable. They enable cultivators to grow, possess, distribute and sell both fresh and dried marijuana, along with cannabis oil. To qualify for a license, applicants must provide plans for the cultivation site, how much they intend producing and selling, as well as the time required for production.
According to the posted regulations, the government reserves the right to deny any license application received from a “peace officer, a competent authority or the United Nations,” or if records show that, “an applicant was involved in the diversion of a controlled substance or precursor to an illicit market or use.” The purpose of this is to give its poverty-stricken masses an opportunity to grow weed legally.
There are other grounds for refusal too, “The Minister may not oblige if the issuance, renewal or amendment of the license is likely to create a risk to public health, safety or security.” The opportunity is proving tempting. Numerous businesses are announcing plans to involve themselves in this emerging market, including one intent on opening an Uber-style marijuana delivery service.
Jugnoo, the biggest on-demand service provider in India, visited Zimbabwe on Tuesday. It arrived with a bang by launching a complete technology suite for people to order marijuana online and have it delivered directly to them. Powered by JungleWorks, Jugnoo provides cultivators with all the technology they will need to run a successful cannabis business.
Growers using Jugnoo will receive a website, a mobile app, a manager dashboard, an app for drivers, route optimization, real-time messaging, a business analytics dashboard, and even multiple options for payment. Jugnoo is not a new company. It already offers U.S. companies a similar platform, including businesses such as Sierra Well, Weed24, Green Guys Collective, and even the famous WeedMaps.
In the United States alone, Jugnoo is already clocking well over 100,000 transactions on a monthly basis, and it is growing in popularity. Samar Singla, founder and CEO of both JungleWorks and Jugnoo, said in a statement, “This recent move by the government of Zimbabwe to legalize medicinal cultivation is a step towards disruption in this industry with technology.”
Singla is extremely optimistic about this new era, further stating that “The consumption of marijuana for medicinal purposes has created a perfect time for entrepreneurs to pick up on this opportunity and kick-start their own medical cannabis delivery business.” Those that do will have all the tools they will ever need to make a success of their business readily available to them.