Everything About Cannabis in Ethiopia: Laws, Price, and Quality

Everything About Cannabis in Ethiopia: Laws, Price, and Quality


Ethiopia and Cannabis

The History of Cannabis in Ethiopia

Current Cannabis Culture

The Law and Cannabis in Ethiopia

The Quality of Ethiopian Strains

What You Pay for Cannabis in Ethiopia

Cannabis in Ethiopia's Future

Ethiopia and Cannabis

canabis in ethiopia

How many people know that several of the world's modern-day practices began in Ethiopia? Drinking coffee and pan-Africanism, some even see Ethiopia as the birthplace of humanity. But what about Ethiopia and weed?

As well as being the spiritual home of Rastafarianism, there's strong reason to believe that the use of cannabis may also originate in Ethiopia. It's widely speculated that growing cannabis in the country has occurred for hundreds of years.

As dabbling in marijuana increases in popularity, especially among youth, people want to try growing sativa dominant seeds themselves. Now more than ever, it's important to be familiar with the laws regarding Ethiopia and weed, especially if you'd like to grow some of your own.

The History of Cannabis and Ethiopia

history of cannabis in ethiopia

During an excavation in Lalibela Cave, Begemeder Province, archaeologists discovered two ceramic smoking pipe bowls. Both vessels, dated to the year 1320, contained traces of cannabis.

Historians now think that Ethiopians have consumed marijuana for centuries.

As Africa's oldest country, cannabis use on the continent likely emanated from Ethiopia. Ancient populations cultivated it for medicine and used it in spiritual ceremonies. Churches even burned it as incense.

Current Cannabis Culture

cannabis culture in ethiopia

In the 1960s, Rastafari immigrants sought to return to Africa from the Caribbean. Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie supported them by giving them 500 acres of land so that they could return to their homeland.

Today the town, named Shashamane, is home to a large Rastafarian community. They credit cannabis as a "holy herb" that increases their spiritual awareness. The area is well-known for cultivating weed in Ethiopia for domestic and personal use.

About 2.6% of the country's citizens currently consume cannabis, mainly for recreation. Due to a lack of accessible health care, it often takes the place of medicine for some locals. Traditional healers believe that the drug aids in wound healing.

The Law and Cannabis in Ethiopia

the law and cannabis in ethiopia

For those now wondering, "Is weed legal in Ethiopia?" the answer is no. The country has strict laws regarding the possession and sale of cannabis.

As of May 2022, the possession of marijuana is illegal for medical and recreational use. If found with cannabis, the accused may face up to six months in prison.

Growing and selling this drug is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment and a fine.

Ethiopia sits directly on a known drug trafficking route from southern Africa to Asia. Its location means guaranteed border inspections when entering and leaving the country.

When smoking weed in Ethiopia, locals have reported that police are usually willing to look the other way. Aware of the Rastafarian culture present in the country, law enforcement is somewhat tolerant of cannabis use.

Farms are not subject to the same lenience. In 2019, Ethiopian police reported that they had destroyed 17 acres of marijuana fields across different parts of the country, including Shashamane.

The national government has invested money into publicizing what they believe are the negatives of Ethiopians doing weed. One reason the authorities have given for the country's high poverty rate is "drug culture."

The Quality of Ethiopian Strains

the quality of ethiopian strains

Ethiopia is home to some truly high-quality cannabis. Several famous landrace strains thrive in the highlands, including Durban Poison and Malawi Gold.

Landrace plants are sativa varieties named after the place of their development. After generations of cultivation in the area, the growing practices and unique environment give the strains distinct characteristics.

The most notable local marijuana plant is Ethiopian Highland, grown in the difficult-to-access mountains lauded by residents for their isolation.

The plants thrive in the country's long summers, with their extended flowering time providing high bud yields at harvest. The plants can reach up to 13 feet high if taken care of.

Consumers love this high-quality Ethiopian weed for its purity and low THC levels. This combination is perfect for keeping a clear head. It provides an energized, sociable high in a short space of time, with citrus and musk flavors.

What You Pay for Cannabis in Ethiopia

what you pay for cannabis in ethiopia

Dealers in Ethiopia sell cannabis by the gram and in three classes. It's easily obtainable from local markets if you know the right person to ask.

Expect to pay around US$5 for 50 grams of lower-grade marijuana.

A mid-grade plant costs about US$10 for 50 grams.

For 50 grams of the best, highest-class cannabis, you'll pay approximately US$20.

Cannabis in Ethiopia's Future

The future of weed in Ethiopian citizens' lives is unclear. Even though there are users across the country, it's unlikely that the law will change anytime soon.

The cannabis trade offers massive money-making potential for a growing economy.

The African Regional Hemp and Cannabis report of 2019 stated that the Ethiopian marijuana market could be worth $9.8 billion if legalized.

By changing the laws surrounding Cannabis, Ethiopia could have the opportunity to contribute to innovation in several sectors, such as medicine and the production of building materials.

Only time will tell if the government will join the growing list of African countries decriminalizing marijuana or keep their principles ahead of profit. For now, it's best for you to play it safe and follow the rules.

Douglas Kester

douglas kester

Douglas Kester, a cannabis growing expert at I49 Seed Bank. He has been working in the weed industry for more than 10 years. During that period, he built up a vast experience and depth of expertise in this field. Douglas has a detailed understanding of every aspect of marijuana, from its cultivation and species to the effects it brings. He's also up to date on all the cannabis-related legislation nuances.