Ghana commences plans to legalize cultivation of Indian hemp
By Hillary Thompson, Accra
Ghana has commenced plans to formulate a legal framework to allow for the cultivation of Indian hemp in the country.
Under this legal framework, growers of the hemp would need a license to operate.
According to the Head of Communications and Media Relations at the Narcotics Control Commission, Francis Opoku Amoah, the Commission is preparing to present a Legislative Instrument (LI) to Parliament, spelling out the details of how one can qualify to be awarded a license to grow hemp in the country.
The LI, when passed, will allow growers to cultivate cannabis with less than 0.3% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for medical, industrial and scientific purposes only.
This is spelt out in 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.
By the passage of this bill, Ghana joins several other African countries, including South Africa and Uganda in exploring the prospects in cannabis planting for commercial purposes.
Mr. Oppong Amoah stated 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.”
He added that a lot of interest has been generated since the country passed the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 and was hopeful it would serve as a source of employment to many unemployed youth in the country.
“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 fibre 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,” he said.
However, the legalization of the growing of cannabis for industrial and medicinal use does not in any way legalise or decriminalize the recreational use of cannabis in the country.
As such, the cultivation, production, distribution, sale and consumption of cannabis remain prohibited by law.
Also, the Commission further stated that it is yet to issue a license to any person or organization to engage in the legal cultivation of Indian hemp, thus, anyone caught engaging in the act is practicing an infringement and is liable to be sanctioned by the law.
The Commission stated that all modalities to acquire a licence will be made public for interested persons or organisations when the LI is finally passed.