Malawi Parliament on Thursday adopted a motion to legalize cultivation of Industrial hemp in the country as one way of boosting the economy.
Ntchisi North legislator Boniface Kadzamira made the motion, requesting government to legalize the growing and use of industrial hemp.
Kadzamira moved the motion “considering the enormous economic, medical and nutritional value industrial hemp has.”
The motion also wants industrial hemp to be recognized as an agricultural cash crop for industrial purposes distinct from other cannabis varieties.
But some MPs have urged government to exercise caution on the issue, fearing some unscrupulous people could take advantage of the legislation to promote the growing of illicit Indian hemp locally known as Chamba.
Cultivation or selling of Chamba is prohibited by law; however government is currently conducting trials on industrial hemp, which if it’s successful, it will help boost the economy.
Government last year gave approval for the trials on industrial hemp for export.
Government’s decision followed years of heated debate. The proposal continues to meet resistance from anti-drug activists and religious leaders.
Industrial hemp and marijuana are from the same family of crops. But industrial hemp does not contain the psychoactive chemical agents found in marijuana.