The Rwanda National Assembly has passed a bill that legalizes the cultivation, processing, distribution and use of cannabis and cannabis products (marijuana) for medical use, with effect from 28th June 2021.
Medical use of cannabis and cannabis products can only be made on the condition that a specialist medical doctor prescribes them.
The operations related to cultivation, distribution and use of cannabis and cannabis products are performed in private or public establishments that have been given a licence thereof from the competent authority and must be performed at the places of business of those establishments or at such other place as may be approved by the competent authority.
Types of licences, permits and certificate are as follows:
- Cultivation licence
- Import permit for seeds, genetic materials and other planting material
- Export permit for seeds, genetic materials and other planting materials
- Cannabis and cannabis products processing licence
- Cannabis and cannabis products import permit
- Cannabis and cannabis products export permit
- Finished cannabis and cannabis products registration certificate
- Research licence
The cultivation licence covers the development of genetic materials, the establishment of nurseries, cultivation, harvesting, post-harvest handling.
Only an operator that holds a cultivation licence is allowed to apply for an import or export permit for cannabis seeds, genetic materials and other planting material.
The licence provided is granted for a period of five years, renewable.
Other African countries which have relaxed laws on marijuana include Malawi, Zambia, Morocco, Uganda, Ghana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa.