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Rwanda has passed a new order that legalises medical use of Cannabis, also known as marijuana, as the country moves closer to mass production and export of the multi-billion-dollar cash crop.

The consumption of Cannabis products for recreational purposes remains illegal in Rwanda. The country maintains harsh penalties for illegal production, distribution and consumption of Cannabis.

A new ministerial order governing Cannabis and its products in Rwanda gazetted some guidelines for the growing, processing, exporting and medical use of marijuana.

Not for recreation

Under the signature of the Minister for Health Daniel Ngamije and the Minister for Justice Johnston Busingye, the new law clarifies that recreational use of marijuana remains illegal and punishable by law.

The new Ministerial Order No 003/MoH/2021 of 25/06/2021 relating to the Cannabis and Cannabis Products stipulates that “any investor or person who is committed to perform any activity of cultivation, processing, importation, export and use of Cannabis and Cannabis products, for medical or research purposes” is eligible to do so.

The law lists eight available licenses and activities allowed under each license, which will be valid for five years.

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