Law for growing hemp gazetted

THE government has gazetted regulations through Statutory Instrument (SI) 218 for the cultivation, possession, transportation and sale of industrial hemp (cannabis), with the application fee for a permit to cultivate the plant set at US$200.

This comes as the government legalised the production of industrial hemp in 2018 for medicinal or scientific purposes.
The regulations further set the application fee for a permit to conduct research on industrial hemp at US$200, renewal of the permit to cultivate US$200, variation or amendment of a permit US$200, application for import or export US$200, for a merchant’s US$500, for the renewal of a merchant’s permit US$500, while the inspection fee is US$200.
“A general cultivator’s permit authorises the permit holder to undertake, in accordance with the permit and these regulations, any of the following activities including the cultivation of industrial hemp, processing hemp for marketing purposes, selling of hemp produce,” read the latest Government Gazette.
A research and breeding permit authorises the permit holder to procure hemp for the purposes of research, conduct the research under the supervision of an approved research institute within Zimbabwe.
An industrial hemp merchant’s permit shall entitle the holder to supply industrial hemp within Zimbabwe, the procurement of industrial hemp into a specified hemp product, contacting individual farmers and the possession of industrial hemp for the purposes of the activities specified in the permit.
The gazette further indicated that if the permit holder intends to possess, produce, sell, provide, ship, deliver, transport or destroy industrial hemp at more than one cultivation area, a separate application shall be submitted for each proposed cultivation area.
As part of the security measures, the gazette highlighted that a permit holder must ensure that the cultivation area is designated in a manner that prevents unauthorised access, that the cultivation area is monitored at all times by personnel who shall determine appropriate steps to be taken in response to intrusion by unauthorised persons.
The permit holder must also ensure that access to areas within a cultivation area where industrial hemp is present shall be restricted to persons whose presence in those areas is required by their work and the responsible person in charge shall be physically present while other persons are in the cultivation areas.
“A permit holder shall ensure that — the flowering heads (including seeds) of any industrial hemp plants remaining in a cultivation area after the harvesting of industrial hemp are destroyed within seven days of the harvest taking place; and SI 218 of 2020 1301 any industrial hemp plants subsequently found growing in an cultivation area after
the harvesting of industrial hemp are destroyed within seven days of being found.
“A permit holder who wishes to transport industrial hemp from premises at which industrial hemp is authorised to be cultivated under the permit, shall ensure that the transportation of the industrial hemp is undertaken in a manner that ensures that the industrial hemp is protected from theft and spillage while in transit,” read the gazette.
In terms of penalties, the regulations indicated that any person who contravenes the provisions of the regulations shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 4 or imprisonment for a period of three months or both.

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