Eswatini Brings Legal Weed to the Hood

Eswatini Brings Legal Weed to the HoodYo, peep this – the landlocked country of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, down in southern Africa has decided to make a major move by legalizing medical cannabis. Word on the street is that King Mswati III and the Eswatini government are pushing for this change to help curb those illegal sales and rake in some mad tax revenue. According to the homie Alpheous Nxumalo, this new legislation is gonna keep that black market in check and give the country a chance to level up their economy and empower the people.

Right now, only one company, Profile Solutions, is holding it down as the official legal cannabis cultivator in Eswatini. But if this medical cannabis law gets passed, it’s gonna be changing up an old statute dropped by the British back in 1922 with their Opium and Habit-forming Drugs Act. The Brits had their grip on Eswatini from 1903-1968, but it wasn’t until 2018 that Swaziland got renamed to Eswatini.

My dude Dr. Thys Louren over at Occupational Health Eswatini is all about this new medical cannabis wave. He’s speaking out on how it’s gonna bring some sick benefits to the table for the country. It ain’t just about medicine – it’s about building up a healthier and more sustainable Eswatini all around.

And Business Eswatini CEO E. Nathi Dlamini is dropping knowledge about how important it is for Eswatini to get in sync with the global medical cannabis scene. He’s saying that lots of other countries are already lightyears ahead when it comes to supporting investment and creating jobs – which yo, we really need out here.

But hold up, real talk – my boy Maqhawe Tsabedze admits he’s been keeping his kids fed by hustling in them illegal cannabis streets. Legalizing cannabis could be a game-changer for folks like him who are just trying to keep food on the table without getting hassled by the cops.

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Now, this whole medical cannabis bill is still just a proposal at this point. It’s gotta get a major three-fourths vote from both the House of Assembly and Senate before it’s official.

This ain’t the first time Eswatini has tried to get medical cannabis legalized though. Back in 2020, the Ministry of Health made a move, but it didn’t pan out. Then last spring, Semafor Africa reported that the bill resurfaced. The Eswatini Cannabis Association wasn’t feeling it though – they were calling out some shady business with that proposed Medicines Regulatory Authority.

Even some farmers who’ve been grinding hard with their illegal crops are worried about what legalization could mean for them. The competition might be too fierce if those big companies swoop in.

Eswatini has over a milli people living there, and a lot of them are dealing with HIV/AIDS. Just last year, The Guardian was putting shine on how older women were hustling Swazi Gold to make ends meet for their families and orphaned kids affected by HIV/AIDS. Poverty ain’t playing out here – folks gotta do what they can to survive.

And hey, don’t sleep on that Strain Hunters documentary from back in 2013 that featured Eswatini. They were exploring the unique cannabis scene and genetics popping off in the region.

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It ain’t just Eswatini making moves with cannabis though. Neighbors like Zimbabwe and South Africa have been getting in on the action too. Zimbabwe gave the thumbs up for medical cannabis sales last summer, while South Africa got down with a bill last fall that decriminalized possession and cultivation for personal use.

So yeah, Eswatini is dipping its toes into that medical cannabis game – let’s see if they can ride this wave all the way to shore. Peace!

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