After a Bright Start, Zimbabwe’s Legal Cannabis Market Hits the Skids
CANNABIS CULTURE – Zimbabwe’s cannabis legalization initiative once held great promise, but now government overreach and excess taxation have ground progress down to a halt — and sent many back to the black market.
Zimbabwe has just found out how marijuana extreme taxes are counter-productive.
In December 2020, Zimbabwe´s government announced what it calls the Cannabis Levy, chargeable on the value of exports. According to Zimbabwe´s finance minister, the levy proposes a 10% tax on outbound exports of finished medicinal packaged cannabis that is ready for resale abroad. Secondly, Zimbabwe announced additional plans to impose 15% on export sales of bulk medicinal cannabis oils that require further processing or packaging. To cap it all, Zimbabwe proposes an even further 20% tax on dried medicinal cannabis flowers.
This is self-defeating, local economists and scientists say. “The Cannabis Levy is yet another bad idea. Where other countries offer export incentives to help their exporters be more competitive, the government (sic) wants to slap them with a 20% tax. The outcome is predictable, Zimbabwe’s cannabis products will be more expensive than the (regional countries) competition,” fumed Godfrey Gandawa, a public scientist and former technology minister in Zimbabwe, whilst decrying the cannabis