By LeeWEpstein

March 24, 2020

Ghana legalized hemp last Friday after Parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill 2019.

The law now makes the National Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) a commission with enhanced powers to oversee the industrial and medical use of certain varieties of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. It will issue licenses for the cultivation of authorized varieties.

We are not promoting smoking, we are promoting the industry, we are promoting environmental cleanup, we are promoting the creation of a new source of revenue for the government in terms of taxes on cultivation and export and we are talking about promoting much better medicines than opioids, medicines that cannot kill you because no one has died from taking cannabis. Said Nana Kwaku Agyemang, President of the Hemp Association of Ghana.

The new Ghanaian law will allow companies to produce jute sacks for cocoa and other products to set up their factories and produce hemp locally rather than importing its fiber from India or elsewhere. They will also be able to manufacture medicines, mostly from CBD, given the THC concentrations of the authorized varieties.

The new law also classifies drug addiction as a public health problem and no longer as a single criminal offense.

Before the adoption of that law, the Narcotic Control Act of 1990 of Ghana considered hemp to be a narcotic drug in the same way as cannabis. Any person found in possession or importing a narcotic substance was “sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years. ┬╗

With the legalization of hemp, Ghana joins other African countries such as Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho or South Africa that have amended their cannabis laws to allow medical, industrial or recreational uses.

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