Nigerian Governor to Launch Medical Cannabis Program

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, of Ondo State in Nigeria, announced plans to launch a medical cannabis cultivation program in his home state. Like Florida, Ondo State is nicknamed the “Sunshine State” and it provides an ideal climate to grow cannabis.

On May 13, Akeredolu was stationed in Thailand with the head of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Muhammad Abdallah, to learn about a medicinal cannabis extract development. While cannabis is a banned substance in Nigeria, the NDLEA will work with Akeredolu to develop a commercialized plan, as long as the federal government approves the project. The next day, the governor elaborated on how Nigeria can take advantage of the lucrative opportunities that cannabis can provide.

“We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State,” he said. “With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed to tap into the Legal Marijuana Market. Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the [NDLEA]. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of jobs for our youth and spur economic diversification.”

It’s quite a change compared to how cannabis is typically treated in the area. Interestingly, between January and August 2018, the NDLEA destroyed 110,542 tonnes (121.85 tons) worth of cannabis in Ondo State. According to NDLEA  Chief Executive Officer, Muhammad Mustapha, their main concern is how farmers clear out rainforests to make way for cannabis plantations.

If the project takes shape, Nigeria could join about 30 other nations around the world that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes in one form or another.


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