According to the Cannabislaw reports, the Zimbabwean government has now given a green light to a project to cultivate cannabis in a prison, and this is a year after the legalization of cannabis for therapeutic and research purposes.
This is said to be the Buffalo Range prison near Chiredzi, Masvingo province in the south-east of the country and a few hundred kilometers from Robert Mugabe International Airport , the only airport in the country to be allowed to receive and distribute cannabis.
A cloudy information
The prison would have been chosen because of its security conditions that effectively meet the standards imposed by Zimbabwean law in terms of growing cannabis. The crop would concern about ten hectares with a future extension already envisaged.
The project is funded by NSK Holdings & International Investors and two partnerships: one with the Ministry of Health, the other with a Portuguese company, Symtomax, which will assist with technical aspects related to culture.
According to some sources, the production license was granted to the company Ivory Medical (even though i can't find this claimed source on the Internet😊) but, according to other sources, the Zimbabwean Correctional Services and Penitentiaries (SCPZ) would have themselves for a production license.
"We do not intend to produce for the prisoners," says Ndanga, the SCPZ officer for Masvingo province, whose comments are reported by the Journal du Cameroun. "Our ambition is to reduce our dependence on the national tax system by generating, as an organization, a source of own income".
According to the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, the SCPZ is a paramilitary organization. Yet it is not a public service. It engages, as a private actor, in many agricultural or industrial projects by claiming the search for a form of financial independence. In fact, as this Australian government note suggests , it is an organization that has close and controversial connections to power.
In total, sales of cannabis products in Zimbabwe are estimated at $7 billion by 2023. The government has recently granted the first production licenses.