Ethiopia may not be the hotspot tourist destination everyone’s talking about, but as far as Africa is concerned, it’s a pretty big player. Ethiopian Airlines is the largest airline in Africa, and is the 4th largest in the world when looking at the number of countries the airline serves. The country also has the 7th largest GDP and 2nd largest population on the continent. This of course doesn’t mean anything when it comes to legal weed, so let’s get to the point. Legal recreational or medical weed in Ethiopia doesn’t exist yet, but the country could be a future cannabis hub within Africa.
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Weed Laws of Ethiopia
As stated above, weed is not legal in Ethiopia. According to Sensi Seeds, possession of cannabis could land you with a fine and six months in jail. Selling cannabis, of course, carries far harsher penalties. This could result in up to 10 years in jail, and a fine of 100,000 Ethiopian birr (2,700 USD at time of writing). Growing weed in Ethiopia is also illegal. The country doesn’t recognize cannabis as a medicine, so using it medicinally will likely carry the same punishments.
Attitudes Towards Weed
Rastafari culture and beliefs have strong ties to Ethiopia. The acceptance of cannabis is not so widely spread throughout the country however as it is in Jamaica, the heart of Rastafari. That said, cannabis use amongst youth within the country is reasonably common. Within Addis Ababa, the country’s capital and largest city, weed use is a lot more noticeable.
Ethiopia Potential Future Industry
A recent study found that Ethiopia’s potential future cannabis industry is valued at 9.8 billion USD, approximately 10% of its current total GDP. This was based on the 7.1 million Ethiopian cannabis smokers and consumers, second only to Nigeria on the continent. Of course, having a potential market, and bringing a new industry to fruition are two very different things. Hopefully, the government has taken notice of this study, prompting them to consider legal weed in Ethiopia soon.
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