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Marijuana farming to be legalised in Ghana

Marijuana farming to be legalised in Ghana

Marijuana farming to be legalized in Ghana

Ghana has initiated processes to legalize the farming

or cultivation of Indian hemp (weed) under license.

In 2020, some countries in Africa, through their

national legislations, decided to permit the cultivation

and export of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes,

with some other countries authorizing the

use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Ghana, having passed the Narcotics Control Commission Act,

2020 (Act 1019) joined these African countries in

exploring the purported prospects in cannabis.

The Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019),

which was passed by Parliament on March 20, 2020,

and assented to by the President on May 11, 2020,

has enshrined special provisions relating to cannabis.

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Section 43 of Act 1019 states that, “the Minister,

on the recommendation of the Commission, may grant

a license for the cultivation of cannabis which has

not more than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis

for industrial purposes for obtaining fiber

or seed or for medicinal purposes.”

Legislative Instrument

Currently in Ghana, the Narcotics Control Commission is in

the process of submitting to Parliament a Legislative Instrument (LI)

that will spell out in details how one can qualify for a license

to cultivate cannabis with less than 0.3% of THC and applicable

fees to pay for the issuance of such licence.

The Head of Communications and Media Relations at the

Narcotics Control Commission,

Francis Opoku Amoah made this known.

International Narcotics Control Board

According to the 2020 International Narcotics Control

Board (INCB) Report, in August 2020, the government of

South Africa submitted to the Parliament the Cannabis for

Private Purposes Bill of 2020, amending its Drugs and

Drug Trafficking Act (1992) to allow the cultivation and

use of cannabis by adults for personal use.

In the same INCB Report, the Parliament of Malawi approved

the Cannabis Regulation Bill of 2020, in February 2020,

permitting the cultivation of cannabis for medical,

industrial and scientific purposes.

Uganda also reported to INCB that, it had begun permitting

the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes.

Obligation on governments

Though some countries are permitting the cultivation of cannabis,

according to the INCB there is an obligation on the part

of governments that permit the cultivation of cannabis

to establish control measures in accordance with the

1961 Convention as amended. Such measures include

the establishment of an agency responsible for

designating areas and issuing licences for cultivation.

The countries that are permitting the cultivation

of cannabis are performing this obligation.

In Malawi, their Bill also establishes a national cannabis

agency to issue licences to cultivate cannabis

and regulate the industry within Malawi.

The government of Uganda, had also drafted guidelines to

assist the Minister of Health in determining which cultivators

should be granted licences to cultivate cannabis.

“I know that the Commission is working hard to make sure that,

it presents a solid Legislative Instrument that will reflect how

the hemp industry will be regulated in

the country,” Mr Amoah explained.

Interest generated

“I am well aware of the interest generated by the special provision

relating to cultivation of Cannabis which has not more than 0.3%

THC content on a dry weight basis for industrial purposes for

obtaining fiber or seed or for medicinal purposes in the country.

So many groups, companies and individuals have applied to

the Commission for licence in order to legally engage in the

cultivation of this species of cannabis when

the LI is passed by Parliament,” Mr Amoah added.

Interested person(s) have argued that, the emerging industry

can provide employment and generate

enormous revenue for the government.

Cannabis still illegal

The special provision relating to cannabis in section 43 of

Act 1019 does NOT in any way constitute the LEGALIZATION

or DECRIMINALIZATION of cannabis cultivation and/or use.

As such, the cultivation, production, distribution, sale

and consumption of cannabis remain prohibited by law.

The Commission further reiterates and herein inform the

general public that, it has not issued licence to any entity,

individual or group of individuals to cultivate cannabis or

conduct any business related to cannabis. The public should

therefore refrain from making payments to any entity,

individual or group of individuals for purposes of

engaging in any business related to cannabis.

That, the Commission will make it public the modalities for

the issuance of licence for the conduct of business

relating to cannabis, once the LI is passed by Parliament.

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