Ghana finally appears to have law that will open hemp market

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After fits and starts, it appears Ghana finally has legislation that will open up the market for industrial hemp and medical cannabis.

The country’s Parliament recently presented the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023, setting the THC limit for hemp at 0.3% on a dry weight basis. CBD will presumably not be legal over the counter, but could be available as a medicine, according to the draft measure. The Parliament is expected to vote on the bill by the end of the year.

Past efforts

Ghana’s Parliament in 2020 passed a law that legalized the use of cannabis for medical and industrial purposes, giving oversight to the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), a part of the Ministry of Interior. That law drew criticism of stakeholders, and was later struck down by the country’s high court, which ruled it unconstitutional because it lacked parliamentary debate.

Under the new law, the Ministry of the Interior would retain oversight of hemp licensing and rulemaking.

Ghana stakeholders have promoted hemp as a method to clean up the environment, and to generate taxes. A study by Chinese researchers carried out in 2021 suggested the country can grow hemp as a raw material for export and make some semi-finished products for the domestic market.

Revival for textiles?

Hemp could revive Ghana’s flagging textile industry, which has tailed off in recent years, presenting an opportunity for fiber hemp as a rotational crop, the report suggests, that report suggested.

Agriculture in Ghana makes up more than 50% of the country’s GDP, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and accounts for more than 40% of export earnings.

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