The development emerged from a report released by RDB during the recent Invest Rwanda Forum indicating the country’s top 100 investment opportunities.
Construction, manufacturing and agriculture were identified among top investment opportunities.
It has been two years since a Ministerial Order was gazetted in June 2021, providing a framework for responsible and secure cultivation, processing, distribution and use of cannabis in the country.
Figures show that cannabis production is projected to increase and generate US$197.7 billion in 2028 from US$28.3 raked in 2021.
The report reads that ‘this represents a significant opportunity that can be further explored by Rwanda’.
Overall, investment worth Rwf19 billion is needed but might increase depending on demand at the local and global market.
Key products with potential medical cannabis include industrial hemp, edible products as well as cannabis oils.
RDB indicates that cannabis is among highly profitable crops where US$10 million can be generated from a hectare. The amount is way higher than the US$300,000 that can be raked from a hectare of flowers.
The United States, Canada and Europe are the biggest potential markets for cannabis to be produced in Rwanda.
In March 2022, the Government of Rwanda announced that it had designated 134 hectares for cultivation of cannabis.
It is expected that RDB will work with government institutions including Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (Rwanda FDA), Rwanda Inspectorate, Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (RICA) and Rwanda National Police to ensure compliance with safety guidelines during the production of cannabis.
The CEO of RDB, Clare Akamanzi recently told APA News that, there will be no way that cannabis can leak out of the farm to go to the domestic market or to the wrong users.
“The crops will be in a designated place, and there will be very strong measures, whether it is CCTV cameras, watch towers, street lights, and human security. So it is going to be extremely secure,” she said.
Apart from medicinal and research purposes, Cannabis is classified as a very severe narcotic drug in Rwanda.
Anyone convicted for dealing in severe narcotic drugs faces a sentence of between 20 years and life imprisonment, and a fine of between Rwf20 million and Rwf30 million, under article 263 of the law determining offences and penalties in general.