Lesotho: Country becomes 1st African nation to grant legal marijuana license

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The weed industry kicks off in Lesotho

Lesotho enters the history books as the first African country to have a legal weed business.

There is a first time for everything and for the landlocked nation of Lesotho it has popped its cherry or in this case seeds.

Lesotho is the first African country to a grant a legal marijuana license. The country's Ministry of Health granted South African company Verve Dynamics an official license.

The license will allow Verve Dynamics grow marijuana for both medical and research purposes.


This move makes sense for Lesotho which has a population of just 2 million people. It is landlocked and surrounded by its more famous neighbour South Africa.

Cannabis is the main cash crop of Lesotho. It's climate and vegetation create the perfect conditions for the growth of cannabis. As a matter of fact, most of the marijuana in South Africa is gotten from Lesotho.

This move by Lesotho signals the growth of marijuana in Africa. A decade ago, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a report on "Cannabis In Africa".

ALSO READ: Can weed be legalised in Nigeria?

In the report, 38 million Africans within the ages of 18-64 use marijuana. This number would have surely increased by 2017.

Marijuana culture is big in Nigeria with youths indulging in the herb. It is now very much of youth culture unlike what prevailed in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

In January 2017, the UNODC suggested that 14.3% of Nigeria's population smokes cannabis making it the third highest consumption rate in the world. Iceland and the United States of America were ranked first and second respectively.


With the increase in marijuana consumption, a disturbing trend has crept up. A new drug, synthetic marijuana has appeared on the streets of Lagos and young Nigerians are consuming it without knowing the harmful side effects.


This trend might dissuade the Nigerian government from looking into the possibility of legalizing marijuana.

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