The African Cannabis Report, published in March, finds that countries across the continent could generate significant economic benefits through the development of Africa’s legal cannabis market.
The African Cannabis Report – the first detailed report on the legal cannabis industry in Africa, finds that the continent could reap significant rewards through the legalization of cannabis. The report includes details of Africa’s legal cannabis market value forecasts, regulatory timeline analysis, consumption data and healthcare analyses for nine key markets, including Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Key findings of the report include:
- International demand offers a strong opportunity to unlock the potential value of Africa’s legally produced cannabis, which could be worth up to $US 7.1 billion annually by 2023.
- Annual prevalence rates of cannabis use in Africa (13.2%) cement the region as having one of the highest consumption rates around the world.
- Africa is home to five of the world’s top 30 countries for cannabis prevalence among adult populations (aged 15-64) with over 76m users.
- The region has a long history of cannabis cultivation and many farmers have turned to illegal cannabis cultivation as the only means of subsistence since the decline in demand for other crops such as tobacco.
- Assuming there is full legalization and regulation of the cannabis industry, South Africa and Nigeria potentially represent the region’s two largest value medicinal cannabis markets going forward, worth US$667m to South Africaand US$75m to Nigeria by 2023.
- Should the law change, NGOs, charities and other donors who provide a significant proportion of the region’s healthcare supplies will be an essential partner in providing access to legal medicinal cannabis products due to the inaccessibility of healthcare services.
Ahead of the launch of the report, Daragh Anglim, Managing Director at Prohibition Partners, explained:
“A regulated legal cannabis market could be transformative to patients, farmers and economies across Africa. From a financial standpoint, Africa could reap significant rewards through the legalization of cannabis, with international demand offering a strong commercial opportunity for cannabis cultivation.
“Despite moves to legalize in several key markets, cannabis remains illegal across vast swathes of the continent as the great majority of African governments have yet to follow the trend of legalization that is sweeping across Europe,North America and Latin America.
“It is currently estimated that 38,000 tonnes of illegal cannabis is produced across Africa each year, with a market value of billions of dollars. This demonstrates the clear potential for an economic boom for African countries that actively seek to legalize and regulate their cannabis market.”