With a temperate climate, majestic waterfalls, and an abundance of playful monkeys, the Kingdom of Swaziland would appear to be heaven on Earth, yet Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world and only one doctor for every 6,000 people.
Ruled by King Mswati III, Sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, the citizens of Swaziland are taunted by the King's $200 million bank account and numerous palaces occupied by his 15 wives. Although over 2/3 of the population lives under the poverty line King Mswati taxes the meager income Swazi farmers earned from their crops. But one crop remains exempt because it was never approved.
"Swazi Gold" is a pure sativa strain that is said to take six months to mature and can grow over ten feet in height. Additionally the plants are rumored to be completely devoid of the cannabinoid CBD, but Hamilton wanted to test this for himself. So he began collecting samples... for "analysis." Contrary to the popular image of cannabis growers as stoners and hippies, the growers of Swaziland are predominantly drug naive grandmothers who grow the plant out of pure economic necessity.
With the country in fiscal crisis and its former wood pulp and mining industries exhausting the last of Swaziland's natural resources, Doctor Ben Dlamini has a few remaining solutions to attract foreign investors and protect the country from economic collapse. But the market is no longer dominated by the original six-months Swazi Gold and there's now a demand for fast-growing hybrids imported from Europe.
Africa produces more cannabis than any other continent in the world and Swaziland, despite its small size, dedicates more hectares of land to cannabis cultivation than all of India. One interesting thing about cannabis growers in Swaziland is they never get high on their own supply. Farmers report, the iron rich soil is ideal for growing cannabis without the use of synthetic fertilizers.