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Ghana makes history: New law opens doors to cannabis cultivation

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The Ghanaian Parliament reached a major milestone by passing a Narcotics Control Commission bill, granting the Ministry of Interior the authority to issue licenses for cannabis cultivation. This measure opens up a multitude of possibilities for using this versatile plant in several beneficial applications. But the road to the approval of this legislation was not easy and had to overcome some obstacles.

With the entry into force of the new law, Ghana takes a giant leap forward in realizing the potential benefits of growing cannabis. By allowing controlled cultivation with a limited THC content, the government intends to explore its industrial potential and various applications in fiber and seed production. Furthermore, the medicinal properties of cannabis can now be studied in depth and used in a regulated manner.

This legislative achievement is expected to lay the groundwork for the development of a well-regulated cannabis industry in Ghana. The cultivation and use of cannabis will now comply with strict quality guidelines and standards, ensuring its responsible and beneficial application. But not everything was easy.

Obstacles along the way

Section 43 of Act 1019 had previously authorized the Minister, with the recommendation of the Commission, to grant licenses for the cultivation of cannabis, commonly known as “wee” in Ghana. However, this clause has been deleted. The Supreme Court intervened and declared Article 43 of the law unconstitutional, which made it difficult to pass the bill.

On 12 July 2023, Parliament approved the 2023 draft law of the Narcotics Control Commission (amendment), which contains a single clause attributing powers. Once approved, this clause will allow the Minister to grant licenses for cannabis cultivation in the country.

The legalization of cannabis cultivation not only opens up economic avenues but also encourages research and innovation. Industries in Ghana can now explore sustainable practices and develop quality products, strengthening the nation's position in the global marketplace.

The medical community looks forward to new opportunities to explore the medicinal properties of cannabis. With regulated cultivation, scientists and researchers can conduct in-depth studies to develop effective treatments and drugs, potentially benefiting countless patients.

By adopting a regulated approach to cannabis cultivation, Ghana takes a step forward in addressing social issues related to drug use. The legislation aims to reduce the illegal drug trade and associated crime, promoting a safer and healthier society.

Controlled cannabis cultivation also has environmental benefits. As a fast-growing plant, cannabis can contribute to carbon storage, thus helping to mitigate climate change. Furthermore, its potential as a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource can reduce dependence on harmful alternatives.

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