Sunday, May 22

#CannabisDecriminalization - Ghana Decriminalizes Cannabis

Who Passed a Joint?

Ghana now joins the likes of  Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, and South Africa to decriminalize hemp for medical and industrial use.

Parliament Friday evening passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2019, to treat drug dependence as a public health issue rather than focusing on law enforcement, incarceration, punishment, and repression.

“The fundamental goal of drug policies should be to improve the health, safety, security and socio-economic well-being of people by adopting appropriate measures to combat illicit crop cultivation and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as its associated substance,” a report on the Bill, presented to the plenary by the Committee on Defence and Interior, said.

 

hep

(Hemp Association of Ghana (HAG) held a sensitizing training workshop on Monday with stakeholder farmers IMG: TheWorkergsGH)

What control measure has been put in Place?

The Commission would be responsible for ensuring public safety by controlling and eliminating trafficking in prohibited narcotic drugs and prevent the illicit use of precursors, co-ordinating the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

It would also act in consultation with other public agencies and find alternative means of livelihood for farmers who cultivate illicit narcotic plants.

The new law also empowers the Minister for Interior to grant licences for the cultivation of cannabis of not more than 0.3 percent THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives the users a high sensation, for industrial and medicinal purposes.

The Committee noted that the Government needed to ensure that legislation met current international standards concerning narcotic offences.

How much Green Money will boost Ghana’s economy?

In Ghana, there is already the Hemp Association of Ghana (HAG) which has signed a deal with a Ghanaian-owned Cannabis business operator based in Portugal.

The deal will gross a staggering $ 56 million in five years from merely cultivating and exporting industrial hemp from a land size approximating 100 acres.

It will rake in around $2.8 million per harvest of HAG’s industrial hemp on the planned 100 acres.

Taxes to the Ghanaian government could gross over $ 10 million from just 100 acres of industrial hemp if the authorities evaluate the industrial potential of the plant taking the world by storm currently.

The independence of the HEMP Industry will be meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the HEMP Industry in Africa and that is why irrespective of the gains made by Ghana, The Hemp Association of Africa remains our long term aim and objective!

 We seem to get lost in this issue of getting high, and all we can talk about as Ghanaians is smoking.

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.”

Cannabis Sativa is used for over 50,000 industrial uses, including being used as a cheaper alternative to cotton, paper car dashboards, and building houses and for medicinal purposes.

The Global Cannabis Market is estimated currently at over US$ 100 billion and estimates for the next five years peg the market size at a staggering $ 300 billion.

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