Malawi President Peter Mutharika has approved plans to allow for the legal cultivation and export of industrial hemp, according to Allan Chiyembekeza, the nation’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
“Let me point out that industrial hemp is different from the much talked Indian hemp chamba or Cannabis Sativa] that is prohibited”, says Chiyembekeza. “This [industrial] hemp does not contain the psychoactive chemical elements that affect people when smoked even though it is from the same family of crops”.
According to Chiyembekeza, the new law establishes an industrial hemp trial program; if the trials are successful, industrial hemp will become a permanent agricultural crop for the country and will be another source of foreign exchange earnings that supports the country’s National Export Strategy.
The cultivation of industrial hemp is legal in dozens of countries, though remains illegal in the United States and throughout many parts of the world.