eSwatini: A brief tale of two laws

An act passed to recover the proceeds of organised crime may now be used by eSwatini’s authorities to score points for a cannabis law that many think will benefit a powerful few
New Frame (South Africa)
Friday, September 18, 2020

eswatini flag cannabis handcuffsThe U.S. company Stem Holdings reported in 2019 that it had “received preliminary approval to become the only licensed growing farm and processing plant for medical cannabis and industrial hemp in The Kingdom of eSwatini for a minimum of 10 years”. The government denied any knowledge of the deal, even as the country’s health ministry, in haste, pushed to pass a cannabis bill into law. What this means is that locals who have been secretly farming cannabis for years would not be able to farm and export their crops. Cannabis growers were not consulted; neither were the many traditional leaders who govern on communal land (about 54% of the country). The House of Assembly voted against it and instructed the health ministry to conduct thorough and representative consultations.