Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament Raises Concerns Over Lost Economic Opportunities in Cannabis Industry
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has expressed concern over Ghana’s missed economic opportunities in the cultivation of cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes. He highlighted that while other countries are making millions of dollars from this sector, Ghana is losing out due to a recent decision by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled that a clause in the bill seeking to amend the Narcotics Control Commission Act was unconstitutional because there had been no parliamentary debate on it before its passage into law, as required by the constitution. The clause would have empowered the Minister of Interior to grant licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for industrial and medicinal use.
The Speaker, expressing his displeasure with the ruling, emphasized the need for collaboration and respect between the three arms of government. He stated that the judiciary should consult Parliament before making important decisions that impact the country’s business.
During the presentation of the Narcotics Regulation Commission Amendment Bill, the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, addressed Parliament and the Speaker, urging them to work together and consult each other in cases of doubt or uncertainty.
Earlier, during a visit to Media General in Accra, the Speaker highlighted the potential of generating revenue domestically through narcotics, particularly cannabis, which is used in pharmaceuticals. He mentioned that the small percentage allocated for cannabis in the Narcotics Control Commission Act was contested and taken to the Supreme Court. However, the court’s decision to strike out the clause without consulting Parliament was seen as improper by the Speaker.
He further explained that countries like Canada have successfully utilized the legal and regulated cannabis industry to generate substantial revenue. Ghana had attracted potential investors in this sector, but the Supreme Court’s decision hindered the country’s progress in tapping into this economic opportunity.