Industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in Ghana
Abstract: Background Cannabis is one of humanity’s oldest crops with several uses, from food to clothing and medicine. It remains one of the most controversial crops whose production, possession, and usage are regulated differently across jurisdictions. Academic research and advocacy have resulted in the redefinition of the legal status of cannabis in several countries. Ghana recently reviewed its laws on cannabis, allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp. The legislation paves the way for Ghana to benefit from industrial hemp and include it in the agricultural cash crop list. This paper looks at the economic prospects of industrial hemp in the wake of the new law. Methods A systematic electronic research was conducted to identify journal articles, reports, news, blogs, and other relevant materials on cannabis, marijuana, and industrial hemp. The electronic search was done primarily on Google, Google Scholar, Bing, and “Baidu Xueshi” to identify cannabis-related publications. The search was expanded beyond Ghana to find other perspectives on cannabis. The search began in January 2020 on Google using search terms like “cannabis in Ghana” and “which countries have legal cannabis.” Materials on history, financial prospects, industrial uses, and legislations on cannabis and industrial hemp were reviewed. Results Existing research on cannabis in Ghana has focused on the psychotic effects of cannabis other than its industrial aspects, which has potentials for the economy. Industrial hemp has CBD with no psychotic effects and is very useful in making medicine, paper, and textiles. Ghana has both the land and workforce to produce hemp to feed local industries and the international market. Conclusion The new legislation can put Ghana in a position to benefit from the current cannabis industry. Therefore, policymakers should implement a registration regime that would favor local investors and farmers to reduce illegal production. The regulatory framework should establish a well-equipped agency that will supervise production and research into hemp development.
Keywords: Cannabis / Marijuana / Agricultural crop / Hemp / Industrial agriculture / Ghana
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