The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) formally applied for a license to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes at its prison in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe state-run media first reported the license application in late-May.
The head of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services in Masvingo Province, Social Ndanga, said that officials are considering the feasibility of growing cannabis at a prison. “We do not intend to produce cannabis for prisoners, but one of the requirements of the Ministry of Health and Child Care is that for a mbanje [cannabis] growing licence to be issued, there has to be guarantees of security and availability of land and Chiredzi Prison is secure enough for the herb to be grown while land is also available,” Ndanga told The Herald.
In May 2018, Zimbabwe legalized cannabis for medical purposes. Almost a year later, in March 2019, government officials granted the first license to manufacture medical cannabis products. Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa licensed the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes under Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018.
Ndange echoed other leaders when he said the Zimbabwe government is considering alternative methods of generating revenue in poverty-stricken areas. “We are also identifying potential income-generating projects within our province so that we go for them instead of just folding our hands and waiting for government to do everything for us,” he said. “What we are doing is out of the realisation that government has a lot of responsibilities, we need to think outside the box as Zimbabweans and device methods of revenue generation and remove pressure from the national purse.”
A similar project happened in Coalinga, California. The former Claremont Custody Center is being converted into a cannabis manufacturing facility for Ocean Grown Extracts, a project being led by former CULTURE cover Damian Marley.