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Is Marijuana Legal in Tanzania?

Tanzania flag with a hand holding a marijuana infront of it

The cultivation, sale, and possession of cannabis for any purpose is against the law in Tanzania.

Despite a centuries-long history with the plant and widespread cannabis cultivation, Tanzania’s government imposes harsh penalties on drug violators, including up to life imprisonment for those guilty of the most serious drug trafficking offenses.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Tanzania

Tanzania’s cannabis history stretches back thousands of years when Asian traders introduced it via East Africa’s coast.

The cannabis plant was integrated into Tanzanians’ way of life, used for medical purposes, food, and various industrial uses. In the mid-1900s, cannabis use surged as returning World War II soldiers brought consumption habits back to Tanzania from their posts.

The forests of Tanzania provided ideal climates and plentiful land for cultivation, and cannabis proved a lucrative crop for poor farmers.

Because cannabis grows in such large quantities in Tanzania, the country has developed a sizable drug trafficking problem.

Local laws began to outlaw cultivation in the 1990s and 2000s, with a long string of seizures confiscating hundreds of thousands of pounds of flower in 10 of Tanzania’s 20 regions. In 2010, seized cannabis plants accounted for 4% of global seizures.

In 2016, Tanzania’s Drug Control and Enforcement Act came into effect, which classified Cannabis sativa as a narcotic substance and established punishments for use or cannabis-related activities.

Due to its strict cannabis laws, Tanzania has no medical marijuana program, and no current bills exist to create a legal framework for medical use.

What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in Tanzania

You cannot access medical or recreational cannabis in Tanzania. Similarly, you cannot bring it into the country. If you’re planning a visit to the area, it is recommended that you leave your cannabis (including CBD) at home, even if you have a medical marijuana card.

Cannabis Is Illegal in Tanzania

Cannabis consumption and any possession, sale, or other activities related to the plant are illegal. The law doesn’t differentiate between medical cannabis and recreational use.

Drug Penalties for Cannabis Are Severe

In the last decade, lawmakers in Tanzania have sharpened penalties for drug violations, with life prison sentences reserved for the most serious offenders.

Possessing a small quality, or up to 50 grams of cannabis or 5 grams of cannabis hash, can earn a fine of 500 shillings and prison time of up to five years.

CBD Is Illegal in Tanzania

Tanzanian law makes no distinction between CBD and other components of the cannabis plant. As such, CBD and CBD oil are illegal to use, possess, or sell in Tanzania.

Can You Grow Cannabis in Tanzania?

Cultivating cannabis is against the law in Tanzania, and their policies outline a minimum of 30 years imprisonment for anyone convicted of violating these rules.

Despite this strictness, Tanzania remains one of the largest cannabis producers in the world, cultivated in the forests for nearly half the country’s regions. Tanzanian officials continue to work with local law enforcement to eradicate crops and seize harvests to stem the amount of drug trafficking that occurs within the country’s borders.

The Bottom Line

Tanzania is unlikely to legalize medical marijuana or decriminalize the plant for personal use soon. It’s best to avoid the plant when living or traveling in the country.