Global Journal of Agricultural Research (GJAR)

EA Journals

Cannabis sativa L.

Unlocking the Socioeconomic Advantages of Cannabis Sativa L. Legalization in African Countries: An In-Depth Review (Published)

Cannabis sativa L., an annual, dioecious, short-day plant from the Cannabaceae family, presents versatile applications encompassing cannabinoids and terpenes for medicinal or recreational utilization, as well as oil production for culinary, cosmetic, and animal feed purposes. Additionally, the plant’s resilient fiber can be processed as paper, biodegradable plastics, textiles, and as construction materials (i.e., hempcrete). On a global scale, the cannabis market is projected to attain a value of $272 billion by 2028. Despite its considerable potential, some countries, including African nations, uphold prohibition due to entrenched stigma, curtailing Africa’s potential involvement in the cannabis industry. Unlike regions such as the United States and Europe, where outdoor cannabis cultivation occurs once annually, Africa’s climatic conditions and fertile soils allow for up to three growth cycles each year, positioning the continent as a potential frontrunner in global cannabis production. This prospect holds the potential to significantly enhance Africa’s socioeconomic development by fostering job creation, addressing youth unemployment, increasing its GPD, and spurring infrastructure development. However, these inherent advantages remain underutilized due to an enduring lack of cannabis education programs that can counteract social stigma. We recommend African countries to contemplate emulating the 2018 US Farm Bill, which allows the cultivation of cannabis cultivars with diminished levels of Δ9-THC (up to 0.3%), commonly known as hemp. Hemp possesses diverse applications, encompassing medicinal uses involving CBD, THCV, CBG and other non-psychotropic cannabinoids, alongside fiber, feed, and oil production. This strategic step could yield substantial job prospects and entrepreneurial ventures, potentially generating an annual revenue surpassing $7.0 billion from cannabis and hemp flower sales exclusively.

Keywords: 2018 US Farm Bill, African nations, Cannabis sativa L., and socioeconomic development, cannabinoids, feed, fiber, oil production, terpenes

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