Indian hemp: ‘Weed’ farming to be legalized in Ghana

Francis Kofi Torkornoo – NACOB Boss

Ghana has initiated processes to legalize the cultivation or cultivation of Indian hemp (weed) under license.

In 2020, some countries in Africa decided through their national laws to allow the cultivation and export of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes, while some other countries authorize the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Ghana, which passed the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020 (Act 1019), has joined these African countries in exploring the alleged prospects for cannabis.

The Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020 (Act 1019), passed by Parliament on March 20, 2020 and approved by the President on May 11, 2020, enshrined a special provision regarding cannabis.

Section 43 of Law 1019 states: “The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Commission, grant a license to grow cannabis with a dry weight content of not more than 0.3% THC for industrial purposes for the production of fiber or seeds, or for medicinal purposes “.

Legislative instrument

Currently, the Narcotics Control Commission in Ghana is in the process of submitting a Legislative Instrument (LI) to parliament detailing how to qualify for a license to grow cannabis with less than 0.3% THC and pay fees for issuing one such license.

This was announced by the head of communication and media work of the Narcotics Control Commission, Francis Opoku Amoah.

International Drug Control Agency

According to the 2020 report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the South African government presented the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill of 2020 to Parliament in August 2020, which amends its Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act (1992) to increase cultivation permit and use of cannabis by adults for personal use.

In the same INCB report, in February 2020 the Malawi Parliament approved the 2020 Cannabis Regulation Act, which allows cannabis to be grown for medical, industrial and scientific purposes.

Uganda also reported to the INCB that it has begun allowing the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Government Commitment

Even if some countries allow the cultivation of cannabis, according to the INCB there is an obligation on the part of governments that permit the cultivation of cannabis to take control measures in accordance with the 1961 Convention, as amended. These measures include the establishment of an authority responsible for the designation of areas and the issuing of cultivation licenses.

The countries that allow the cultivation of cannabis comply with this obligation.

In Malawi, their bill also establishes a national cannabis agency that issues cannabis cultivation licenses and regulates the Malawi industry.

The government of Uganda had also drafted guidelines to assist the Minister of Health in deciding which breeders should be licensed to grow cannabis.

“I know the Commission is working hard to ensure that it is a solid legal tool that reflects how the hemp industry is regulated in the country,” said Opoku Amoah.

Generates interest

“I am aware of the interest created by the special provision regarding the cultivation of cannabis with a THC content of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis for industrial purposes for the production of fiber or seeds or for medicinal purposes in the country Groups, companies and individuals will have applied for a license from the Commission to legally participate in the cultivation of this type of cannabis when the LI is passed by Parliament, “added Mr Opoku Amoah.

Interested parties have argued that emerging industries can create jobs and generate enormous revenue for the government.

Cannabis still illegal

The special provision regarding cannabis in Section 43 of Law 1019 does not in any way represent the LEGALIZATION or DECRIMINALIZATION of the cultivation and / or consumption of cannabis. Therefore, the cultivation, production, distribution, sale and consumption of cannabis remain prohibited by law.

The Commission reiterates and hereby further informs the public that it has not granted any legal person, individual or group of persons a license to grow cannabis or to conduct business in connection with cannabis. The public should therefore not make payments to any company, individual, or group of people to do business related to cannabis.

That is, the Commission will publish the modalities for obtaining a license to do business in relation to cannabis once the LI is passed by Parliament.

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