Saturday, October 31, 2020

The bill that seeks the legalization of industrial hemp passes the second reading

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By Chris Ochayi, Abuja

A bill that seeks the legalization and use of industrial hemp plants for medical and scientific research is currently in the House of Representatives.

The bill, which was introduced by Representative Princess Miriam Onuoha, representing Okigwe in northern Imo State, has passed second reading.

This was revealed by Dr. Tonye Jaja Clinton, a legal practitioner, during a media parliament organized by Grow Cann Africa in Abuja on the benefits and opportunities of cannabis plants and CBD oil.

This is just as Canadian experts have begun pushing for the cultivation and development of non-intoxicating cannabis, cannabidiol, CBD oil and industrial hemp markets in the country.

The group, Grow CANN Africa, said Nigeria is well positioned to tap into growing global demand from the cannabis, CBD oil and industrial hemp markets that are expected to reach $ 10 billion by 2020.

Grow CANN Africa President Uju Adaku, speaking during a Zoom media parliament held in Abuja, revealed that his findings have shown that countries have gained better traction in the development of their domestic cannabis (CBD) and industrial hemp. by granting an exclusive license. to foreign partners with the technical know-how, including access to the global market to properly build the market.

According to her, in the past two years, the group has met with the Nigerian High Commissioner in Canada, the Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria, the Nigerian Drug Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, the National Agency for Administration and Food and Drug Control, NAFDAC, as well as with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to discuss the development of non-intoxicating cannabis, CBD oil and industrial hemp from Nigeria.

He said they are seeking a license to test research and development of non-intoxicating cannabis CBD oil and industrial hemp in Nigeria, and subsequently grow it at scale.

Speaking further, Dr. Tony Jaja, the lawyer who developed the Cannabis Cultivation, Processing and Marketing bill, said that although the Nigerian Drug Enforcement Agency Act criminalizes cannabis for commercial and of medical research.

He said that to ensure strict regulation of the crop, the bill established criteria for licensing, so that any applicant showing that it is purely for research or commercial purposes, and even after the licenses are issued, must periodically renewed so that people do not misuse them.

According to him, the bill is not to create a new agency, but NDLEA will be in charge.

He said the bill has passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, noting that after the National Assembly recess, the House Committee on Narcotic Drugs will work on it before it is approved for the third reading, and if expanded, the bill will go to the Senate for approval and to the President for approval.

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