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Accepted Paper:

Can a licit cannabis market develop "from below" in French-speaking West African countries? Current trends in Senegal  
MOUHAMET DIOP (Centre régional de recherche et de formation et de prise en charge clinique (CRCF)Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD)) Alice Desclaux (IRD (INSERM, Univ. Montpellier), CRCF) Khoudia Sow

Paper short abstract:

In Senegal, cannabis production is carried out by small farmers in spite of prohibition; no national enforcement strategy was developed for agrobusiness and licit marketing. However, advocacy ‘from below’ for legislation update and cannabidiol production might allow change.

Paper long abstract:

The experience of countries such as Morocco has shown that the opening of an international cannabis market requires a change at the national level in drug legislation, an economic development strategy for agricultural production, and investor initiatives connected to international firms, and may be facilitated by activists (Rusenga, 2022). Is Senegal following this pathway?

To respond to this query, this presentation is based on an ethnographic survey as part of an ongoing doctoral project on the social and health issues surrounding cannabis in Senegal.

Cannabis production dates back to the post-colonial period and is carried out by small-scale farmers, whose income enables them to survive in the absence of other alternative resources. The lack of a national strategy for production is linked to present repressive policies, the marginalisation of cannabis as an illicit drug, and its association with the Casamance independence movement. There are however seeds of change at the local level that are opening up with some growers being offered seeds to grow by Westerners and their willingness to develop the cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic use, particularly through cannabidiol (CBD), which is little known by Senegalese users. Drug users' and activists' movements have recently developed, but they are more concerned with harm reduction and access to care and are slowly moving towards decriminalisation of cannabis.

Cannabis production and market in French speaking West Africa are similar to Senegal. Differences with English speaking-countries are a key topic in the current debate on African cannabis futures.

Panel Econ17
African cannabis futures?
  Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -