Ghana is said to make an amount of US$56 million in five years from both the cultivation and exportation of industrial hemp pending parliamentary approval.
Having about 100 acres of land ready for business, The Hemp Association of Ghana (HAG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Ghanaian-owned cannabis operator based in Portugal for this ‘mouth-watering’ deal.
According to the duo, cannabis has a maturity period of 16 weeks. Because Ghana has a favourable weather condition, the substance can be planted and harvested about four times in 12 months.
Every year, a sum of US$11.2 million will be accrued for HAG therefore, at the end of the agreement in five years, a total of over US$50 million will be generated revenue.
A representative of Soringa TM, Raphael Ofori-Adeniran bemoaned that “it is unfortunate that the Ghanaian government and lawmakers are dragging their feet in this burgeoning multi-billion dollars global industry-an industry that can exceed the value of crude oil in the nearest future”.
He continued that “There are Ghanaians living in countries that are eagerly lifting restrictions of Cannabis (especially industrial hemp which does not have any psychoactive effect) and these people are not waiting for the Ghanaian authorities to come off their stupor. We are putting our best foot into the doorway of this growing industry. It will be unfortunate that all the revenues that Ghana could have made from its citizens involved in the industry are made to stay outside Ghana and for foreign economies to enjoy the tax benefits”.
This deal comes on the back of some African countries including Zambia and Uganda making billions of dollars after the legalisation of cannabis in their countries.
But the story in Ghana is different as Parliament is hesitant to decriminalise the growing, use and export for medical and cosmetic purposes.
Meanwhile, stakeholders, including Ras Mubarak, Blakk Rasta have over the years called for the decriminalization of the use of cannabis popularly known as ‘wee’ in the country.
Though the new Narcotics Control Commission Bill has been placed before Parliament, when passed would replace the existing Narcotics Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanctions) Law, PNDC 236, 1990 which do not really give attention to the benefits of the substance.
According to them, the bill when implemented would create more jobs as well as increase the revenue of the country.