The Narcotic Control Commission (NACOC) says it has not issued any person or institution with a licence to cultivate cannabis in Ghana.
The Commission has thus reiterated that the illicit use and cultivation of cannabis remains an offence under Narcotic Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) which was passed in March this year.
According to a public notice issued by the Commission, "any person who engages in the cultivation as well as promotes any business relating to cannabis without lawful authority, proof of which lies on that person, commits an offence".
Act 1019 empowered the Minister for Interior with the powers to grant licences for the cultivation of cannabis of not more than 0.3 per cent THC (the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives a user the high sensation) for industrial and medicinal purposes.
However, the Commission noted that cannabis with not more than 0.3 per cent THC is a different specie from the known cannabis sativa widely grown and abused in Ghana.
“It is worth mentioning that the cannabis with not more than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis for industrial purpose for obtaining fibre or seed or medicinal purposes, as stated in section 43 of the Act, is a cannabis specie different from the known cannabis sativa widely grown and abused in Ghana,” the notice said.
"Thus, section 36 through to 42 of the Act prohibit unlawful possession of the drug/plant and any business relating to narcotic drug/plant without lawful permission proof of which lies the on that person. Subsequently, section 44 and 45 of the Act also provides for the prohibited administration and purchase of narcotic drug/plant respectively. It is to be well noted that, all these provisions relating to narcotic drugs/plants do not exclude cannabis".
The statement further noted that although the abuse of narcotic drugs was punishable by a fine or imprisonment, the court can direct a convicted person to seek treatment and rehabilitation.
"As such, illicit drug use is and remains an offence in Ghana. Consequently, any individuals and/or group of individuals who fall(s) foul to the law shall be dealt with in accordance with the law".