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African cannabis futures? 
Clemence Rusenga (University of Bristol)
Simon Howell (Global Risk Governance Programme)
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Economy and Development (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S82
Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The panel critically explores various policy frameworks that seek to promote the development of new and emerging cannabis markets in Africa, the aim of which is to explore what political, economic, and cultural impact they may have on these societies individually and collectively.

Long Abstract:

The punitive and prohibitive regulation of cannabis has a long history in Africa. While it has the potential to be an important crop with significant utility in multiple domains the broader regulatory environment has served to position it as both illegal and yet also immoral - resulting in its historical classification as a "dangerous and dependence producing drug" in South Africa for instance. The regulatory environment, itself imported from the US and international governance institutions such as the UNODC, limits its socio-economic contribution to the development of the continent despite its clear value. Since 2017 however, cannabis has experienced a 'rebirth' as a potentially valuable agrarian crop, in a context of floundering prospects for traditional crops and mineral resources in Africa. Its resurrection as an important and lucrative crop has been characterised by a scramble for control of the emerging cannabis value chains by local elites and international agribusinesses, with limited participation of local ordinary citizens. where reforms are taking place, legal cannabis production is limited to medical and scientific purposes, following a generalised narrative in which the epistemological worth of local knowledges find themselves subsumed by the intrinsic hegemony of western science, continuing the logic of exclusion seen throughout cannabis's history albeit in more subtle form. The result is perpetuation of the criminalisation of cannabis production by ordinary Africans. The panel proposes to grapple with the questions related to the development of 'new' cannabis markets in Africa, the potential for inclusivity, and the implications of the current cannabis policy developments to Africa's agrarian futures.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -