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Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya Marijuana Control Advocacy

Research Consultant Terms of Reference

The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) is a representative organization that was formed in 1964 to enable Pharmacists' employ their professional expertise in the care of patients. PSK also advocates for, encourages and participates in the: Formulation of appropriate, and review of, existing pharmaceutical policies through appropriate review of existing pharmacy regulations and laws with the aim of protecting the public interest.

PSK commits itself to play an even greater public health role in the promotive and preventive approaches to health in keeping with emphasis of Vision 2030, and seeks to contribute to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The society works in partnership with relevant government organs, other health professional organizations and development partners on a series of public health campaigns aimed at educating the public on health issues.


Marijuana (Cannabis) in Kenya is controlled under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1994 (rev 2012) (Cap 245), previously known as the Dangerous Drugs Act. The Act stipulates specific penalties around the cultivation, processing, trafficking and possession of cannabis, as it is illegal in all forms.

Whilst the wide-ranging medicinal properties of cannabis are well known, the grim effects of dependence, addiction and disabling psychosis are the reason its cultivation and use is illegal in 130 countries. There has been a shift to decriminalize and/or legalize the plant. Countries that have legalized the medical use of cannabis include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, and Thailand. Others have more restrictive laws that only allow the use of certain cannabis-derived pharmaceutical drugs such as Japan. Cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, cancer, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome among other ailments.

A Kenyan legislator has proposed a Marijuana Control Bill, aimed at legalizing the cultivation and use of marijuana for medicinal, industrial and recreational use.

PSK’s preliminary position is that Kenya should find a way to exploit marijuana to provide medical and perhaps industrial benefits only. PSK is opposed to recreational use of the drug.


PSK seeks a research consultant to carry out desk research to document global best practice on the regulation of cannabis, as well as carry out a values and preferences survey to get the mood of the country on marijuana legalization/decriminalization. The findings of the research will be used by the consultant and PSK to develop a comprehensive position on the proposed Marijuana Control Bill.

The intended outcome is that this process will result in the introduction of suitable proposals for controls that will lead to the protection of Kenyans, especially the youth, from uncontrolled exposure to the harmful recreational drug, while ensuring access to medical cannabis for patients who may benefit.

Inputs & scope of work A. Research

  1. Conduct desk research to document international practice on the regulation of cannabis around the globe, including in the scope of research, the different legal status illegal, legal, decriminalized;

  2. Document international practice on the medicinal and industrial use of marijuana;

  3. Conduct desk research on the economic and social impact of legalization and decriminalization of cannabis use in various countries;

4. Carry out a values and preferences survey to get the mood of the country regarding the use of cannabis.

B. Stakeholder Engagement

Subject the findings of the research to key industry players and obtain an industry position on the issue including PSK, KMA, NNAK and other medical professional associations 2 forums.

Outputs and deliverables

  1. Inception report and workplan, including the tools and methodology to be used in the values and preferences data collection survey.

  2. Research report detailing international practice on the regulation of cannabis around the globe, as well as on the social and economic impact of legalization and decriminalization of cannabis use.

  3. A research report of Kenyan values and preferences regarding a legal status of cannabis.

  4. A final, comprehensive report that includes the research on international practice and the values and preferences report.

  5. Facilitation of stakeholder fora for purposes of development of an industry-based policy position paper. 

NB: The consultant will be required to provide draft reports for review. Competence and expertise requirements

The consultant(s) will have the following expertise and experience:

  • ?  BackgroundinHealthScienceorSocialSciencewithaMaster’sdegreeinPublicPolicy, Research, International Development, Economics, Statistics, Public Health, or a related field;

  • ?  Experience working in a developing country, ideally conducting data collection or other field- based research in health;

  • ?  Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to convey complex research results to non-academic audiences;

  • ?  Experience working with regulatory frameworks and advocacy around health issues will be an added advantage.



Number of days


Desktop research on best practices around legalization or decriminalization and socioeconomic impacts of the same


28th June

Values and preferences survey


Presentation of report to stakeholders


15th July

Review of PPP for coherence with study findings


2nd Aug

Application process

Interested consultants should send their application to operations@psk.or.ke by CoB 17th April 2019.

Applications should be both financial and technical detailing the approach to be taken, time schedule and detailed budget. CVs for the consultant(s) to be involved should be attached along with their relevant experience.