Ghana and Weed Legalization Update 2020
The Drug Control Commission Bill passed in Ghana’s parliament in March 2019 to allow medicinal and industrial weed to be used and cultivated, but only as a species better known as marijuana.
The new law restricts tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration in plants – the drug that raises humans – to below 0.3%. The same amount was defined by the US Farm Bill 2018 as legal for cultivation. However, hemp can be derived from cannabidiol (CBD), which is intended to have health benefits. In Ghana, the recreational use of cannabis is still, however, illegal.
Ghana and the passage of Bill 2019 brief background
The passage of Bill 2019 of the Drug Control Commission legalizes the cultivation of low THC cannabis, which ceases to be completely legalized, as stated by Mr. Ras Mubarak in a declaration after the passing of the bill.
“To clarify, it is not recreational marijuana is what we have accepted. To people, understanding the difference is critical. As a society, science and numbers must be practiced for the benefit of our people, “said Mubarak.
“Weed without a license is illegal to cultivate or to possess,” he said. “And more than 0.3% THC (smoking) also grows cannabis illegally.”
To explain further, “Weed for smoking was not approved by Parliament,” said Mubarak. “Cannabis possession is illegal, without valid authority. What we accepted is another strain of cannabis that has more than 0.3 THC and is very distinct from recreational cannabis. “Anyone cultivating and possessing without legal authority has a harsher sentence under this rule,” he says. It’s not a smoking license.
Weed legalization in Ghana law explained
Under current Ghanian law, cannabis is an illegal narcotic substance. Those caught possessing or importing cannabis “shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years.”
The passage of the bill transforms Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) into a commission with enhanced powers. It also authorizes the Minister for Interior, in consultation with other government officials including the Minister of Health, to issue licenses for the production of cannabis with no more than 0.3% THC.
Current parliament decision about cannabis legalization in Ghana
To guarantee public safety, the bill gives the Narcotics Control Commission the authority to regulate and prevent trade in illegal substances. The law also provides that substance addiction is viewed as a public health problem and the commission offers recovery programs for abusers.
The bill is now being passed on to President Nana Akufo-Addo’s desk by Parliament and must follow the measure before it becomes law. Ghana is joining many other African countries, including Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Zambia, which have recently introduced cannabis reforms.