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Apart from boosting the economy, wee cultivation will tackle… – Nana Agyemang

The oil that will be derived from cannabis when the industrial cultivation starts in Ghana will help health experts tackle the problem of epilepsy once and for all, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hempire Association of Ghana, Nana Kweku Agyemang, has said in reaction to the passage of the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023 which will grant the Minister for the Interior the authority to issue licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for industrial purposes.

Nana Agyemang believes the cultivation of cannabis for industrial purposes will benefit Ghana in diverse ways.

Speaking on News 360 on TV3 Wednesday, July 12, Nana Kweku Agyemang said “Ghana is the winner, it is not just about entrepreneurs that we should celebrate alone. What we are looking at is tens of thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs across the country, it is something that we need.

“We have graduates who are leaving the universities and they are being told there are no jobs for them, they should go and fend for themselves but the establishment of this industry is something that could pull in their resources and the knowledge they have learned in the universities.

“It is also great for the economy because now, the government of Ghana can have something whereby they will generate revenue internally from the taxes. If you look at other countries and what those governments have been making from the taxes alone, it has been huge, humongous.

“Then also, it is good for the environment because at the moment we are clamoring to deal with galamsey and there are farmers sitting there looking at lands they would previously pay peanuts for and those lands have been poisoned with mercury and other toxic chemicals.

“Well, I wish to inform you that when we cultivate industrial hemp on that land, those lands would be reclaimed because the industrial cannabis will absorb all the toxins over a period of time and the farmers will be able to go back to those farmlands and start cultivating high-value crops.

“The same is true with our water bodies, the cultivation of industrial cannabis in those water bodies and the banks will clean up those water bodies so that we can return to them and use them in our everyday day domestic lives.

“In medication, there are a lot of young people suffering from epilepsy and the oil from cannabis is something that can be used for all those features once and for all.”

The bill was passed on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin earlier said that Ghana was losing millions of dollars without the license to cultivate cannabis.

Speaker Bagbin said these after the presentation and the first reading of the Narcotics Regulation Commission Amendment Bill, 2023, by the Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, July 6.

The Supreme Court had struck out the law on granting license to grow cannabis, popularly known as ‘wee’, because there was no debate in Parliament on it before its passage into law, as stipulated by Article 106 (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution.

But the Speaker who indicated that the country was losing out because of this decision, said he made his displeasure over the ruling known to the justices of the apex court in a meeting and urged them to consult Parliament for proper briefings whenever they are making such decisions.

“We are not reviewing the decision of the Supreme Court, what we are seeking to do is to correct an error and reinstate the right provision. So I am going to refer the bill to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report to the House.

“The Committee could present the report within one week. It is a matter that is dear to my heart personally, and I think the country is losing a lot as a result of this [Supreme Court] decision. We need to work expeditiously to rectify the wrong.”

He added “I hope that the three arms of government will work together and respect each other. In cases of doubt, it is important to consult the other arm before giving finality to whatever decision the other arm wants to take.

“I don’t think that it is proper for the judiciary to, without knowing how we conduct our business here, really go into how we conduct the business and make such an important decision without consulting the house, that is improper.

“I have made this known to them and I want this to be known publicly, this is for the benefit of the country. So please, committee, you are given one week to submit your report.”

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