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Canadian experts push for cultivation of non-intoxicating cannabis in Nigeria

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Experts from Canada have started pushing for the cultivation and development of non-intoxicating Cannabis, Cannaidiol (CBD oil) and industrial hemp markets in the country. 

According to the group, Grow CANN Africa, Nigeria is well positioned to tap into the increasing global demand for Cannabis, CBD oil and industrial hemp markets poised to hit $10billion in 2020.

President of Grow CANN Africa, Uju Adaku, during a media parley held in Abuja, disclosed that their findings have shown that countries have gained better traction in the development of their national cannabis (CBD) and industrial hemp by granting exclusive licence to foreign partners with the technical know-how, including access to global market to adequately build the market. 

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She said in the last two years the group has been meeting with the Nigeria High Commissioner to Canada, Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Nigerian Drug law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as well as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to discuss the development of the Nigerian non-intoxicating Cannabis, CBD oil and industrial hemp. 

Adaku said they are seeking licence to pilot the non-intoxicating Cannabis CBD oil and industrial hemp research and development in Nigeria, subsequently, growing it to scale. 

A legal practitioner, Dr. Tony Jaja, who developed the bill for the Cultivation, Processing and Commercialisation of Cannabis, said though the Nigerian Drug law Enforcement Agency Act criminalises the cultivation of cannabis in Nigeria, the bill is to allow people, who want to cultivate cannabis for medical research and commercial purpose. 

He said that to ensure strict regulation of the cultivation, the bill put in place criteria for licensing such that anyone applying who proves that it’s purely for research or commercial purpose, and even after the licenses are issued, it must be renewed periodically 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. 

The bill, he said has passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, noting that after the recess by the National Assembly, the House Committee on Narcotics will work on it before its passed for third reading, and if it scales through, the bill will go to senate for concurrence and the President for assent. 

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