CLAIM: Some African countries are already exporting medical cannabis worth billions of dollars, says Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu
The Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, is not new to courting controversy—this time, it is about legalising marijuana (also known as weed or cannabis).
While speaking on behalf of the governor at a conference marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on July 22 2019, Boye Oyewumi, his special adviser, said:
“There is no reason why Nigeria should not legalise marijuana. Some African countries are already exporting medical cannabis worth billions of dollars.”
Akeredolu had previously urged the federal government to consider legalising marijuana — citing its medicinal properties and market potential.
“Ondo State is the largest producer of marijuana plants in Nigeria. We are not asking the government to set up bars where people come and abuse cannabis, rather we are asking the government to grant us license to cultivate medical marijuana for export.”
NOT TRUE, OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES HAVE NOT OFFICIALLY STARTED EXPORTING CANNABIS
Our research shows that Gov. Akeredolu’s claim is NOT TRUE as only 3 out of the 54 countries in Africa have legalised the cultivation of marijuana for scientific and medicinal use and these countries have not officially started exporting it. The export of marijuana currently going on in Africa is through the black market, which is not “new” news.
The three countries that have legalised the production of marijuana are Lesotho, Zimbabwe [for scientific and medicinal use] and South Africa [allowed to use, cultivate and grow the substance on their own property while dealing and/or smoking it outside the confines of your home remains illegal in South Africa].
But none of the countries have started exporting. Although, the United Nations estimates that more than 38,000 tonnes of cannabis are produced across Africa each year, this business worth billions(of dollars) is usually carried out on the black market.
Lesotho, in 2017, became the continent’s first country to offer legal licences to grow marijuana, signaling a shift towards more liberal policies.
Zimbabwe, became the second African countries to legalise the production of marijuana for scientific and medicinal use.
South Africa, became the third with recreational use being illegal, while private cultivation and consumption was decriminalised.
The other potential country is Uganda which is yet to legalise either the cultivation or recreational consumption of marijuana, but curiously claims to have got a stake in the lucrative business with an aim to generating revenue.
According to reports, Uganda landed deals to export medical marijuana products to Canada and Germany to the tune of 160 million US dollars in June this year. And received orders from about 20,000 pharmaceutical companies in Germany and Canada for the supply of marijuana.
It is also believed to have signed annual supply contracts with pharmaceutical firms in Canada to the tune of 100 million US dollars (Shs371.8b) and 58 million Euros (Shs242.3b) for Germany that will run for 10 years, although this is not confirmed.
This is a FALSE claim, as no African country has started officially exporting marijuana!