Nana Kwaku Agyeman, President of the Hemp Association of Ghana (HAG) says planting of cannabis also known as hemp has many benefits for the protection of the environment.
According to him, hemp could be used to produce wood as well as paper which would be stronger than those made out of trees, which would, in turn, curb the menace of indiscriminate felling of trees.
Nana Agyeman in an interview with the Ghana News Agency noted hemp could be planted along with polluted river bodies, destroyed through the unpatriotic act of galamsey, which has resulted in the poisoning of water bodies.
“Once the river bodies are dredged and hemp planted there, it will clean the water. It will absorb all the toxins into the leaves which will fall off, biodegrade and clean the water,” President of the Hemp Association of Ghana stated.
Nana Agyeman, revealed that hemp had several usages, which most Ghanaians are ignorant about stressing that it could be used to produce plastics, which would biodegrade after 16 weeks, thereby, aiding in keeping the environment clean.
“So a plastic bottle or sachet made out of hemp will biodegrade when people carelessly throw them away to litter the environment. It becomes nothing,” he said.
According to him, hemp could be used to make 25,000 things such as cloth, shoes, chair, indicating that there were many possibilities with the cultivation and use of cannabis.
Nana Agyeman noted that blocks made of hemp mixed with lime was 20 per cent stronger and when used for construction works would be beneficial to the environment.
He claimed that structures built with hemp absorbs carbon dioxide emitted from cars convert it into oxygen and kick it back out.
He explained that planting an acre of hemp would absorb more carbon dioxide and emit pure oxygen for human consumption than an acre of trees.
Nana Agyeman noted that people make a lot of ‘hullaballoo’ about hemp because they do not understand its benefits as it can be used for industrial and medicinal purposes.
The President of HAG revealed that the Association have been engaging the Parliamentary Select Committees of the Interior and Defence who are working on drugs law.
He said the engagement has led to an agreement, which would allow the cultivation of industrial hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of 0.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, information available to the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency indicates that the Narcotics Control Commission revealed that the country is yet to operationalize the license regime because a legislative instrument had not been passed.
Thus, the provision relating to cannabis in section 43 of Act, 1019 did not in any way constitute the legalization or decriminalization of cannabis cultivation and/or use.
Meanwhile, Mr Francis Opoku Amoah, Head of Communication and Media Relations at the Narcotics Control Commission said “the Commission is in the process of submitting to Parliament a Legislative Instrument (LI) that will spell out in details how one can qualify for a license to cultivate cannabis with less than 0.3 per cent of THC and applicable fees to pay for the issuance of such license.”