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Written By Sheena Beronio

GHANA – Last Friday, the parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill that allows the usage and cultivation of cannabis for industrial and medical purposes but is limited only in the hemp variety.

Included in the Bill is a comprehensive guideline on the allowed concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the plants, which is less than 0.3%. 0.3% is the same allowed THC concentration (for cultivation) of the U.S 2018 Farm Bill. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that gets people high and is mainly used for recreation and adult-use purposes. The use of cannabis for recreational purposes is still illegal in Ghana.

Nana Kwaku Agyemang, president of the Hemp Association of Ghana, reminds his constituents that the newly passed Bill doesn’t encourage people to get high from Hemp. 

“We are not promoting smoking, we are promoting the industry, we are promoting cleaning up the environment, we are promoting creating a new revenue stream for government in terms of taxing from cultivation and export, and we are talking about promoting medicines that are far better than opioids, medicines that cannot kill you because no one has died from taking cannabis,” said Agyemang.

Ghana is the latest African country to pass bills regarding cannabis. This month, its neighbor country, Malawi, legalized the medical use of marijuana. The two countries join Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, and Lesotho in creating laws regarding cannabis.

South Africa shifts to global cannabis domination

Various companies from North America start putting up subsidiaries in South African countries. For example, the North America-based Aurora Cannabis has its subsidiary called CanniMed that’s responsible for cannabis supply in South Africa.

South African cannabis nurseries and various cultivating systems are considered low cost compared to other countries. The low-cost cultivation of cannabis in these tropical countries is due to a favorable environment that fares well with cannabis. In essence, this is another feature of cannabis companies all over the world are looking.