Ghana has legalized the use of cannabis for health and industrial purposes, joining other African countries like Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, who are changing their laws on cannabis, hoping to derive economic and health benefits from the plant.
In the next five years, the global market size for cannabis is estimated to reach $300 billion. Currently, it is estimated at more than $100 billion.
This move makes Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board responsible for oversight of the industrial use of some narcotics. The commission will have the mandate to control and eliminate the trafficking of prohibited narcotic drugs, in order to ensure public safety.
The Hemp Association of Ghana (HAG) has already signed a deal with a Ghanaian-owned cannabis business operator based in Portugal, according to GhanaWeb.
By cultivating and exporting industrial hemp from approximately 100 acres of land, the deal is expected to be worth $56 million in five years.
“We seem to get lost in this issue of getting high, and all we can talk about as Ghanaians is smoking,” Nana Kwaku Agyemang, the president of the hemp association of Ghana, told Africa Feeds.
“As president of the Hemp Association of Ghana, we are not promoting smoking, we are promoting the industry, we are promoting cleaning up the environment, we are promoting creating a new revenue stream for government in terms of taxing from cultivation and export and we are talking about promoting medicines that are far better than opioids, medicines that cannot kill you because no one has died from taking cannabis,” he added.
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Cannabis sativa has more than 50,000 industrial uses which include being a cheaper alternative to cotton, building houses, manufacturing car dashboards, and medicinal purposes.