The Narcotic Control Commission (NCC) has emphasised that it is still illegal to cultivate cannabis in the country without a licence, despite the passage of the Narcotic Control Act (1019), this year, in relation to medicinal and industrial use of the plant.
Mr Francis Opoku Amoah, Head of Communication and Media Relations at NCC said this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday in Accra.
This followed the destruction of about 67 acres of the plant in Boso in the Eastern Region by a team of security personnel last week upon a tip-off.
He made it clear that, Section 39 of the Act specified that: “A person shall not without lawful authority proof cannot own, cultivate, grow or harvest a plant that can be consumed as a narcotic drug or plant, or from which a narcotic can be extracted or processed.”
Mr Amoah said the perception that cannabis has been legalised in the country fell within Section 43 of the Act which made special provision to the cultivation of cannabis in the country by specifying that, an active ingredient known as THC, which causes mental delusions in the usage of the plant, should be less than 0.3 per cent during cultivation, before it could be used for industrial and medicinal purposes.
He said, even then, one has to obtain a licence from the Minister for Interior before any commercial farming of the cannabis could take place.
Mr Amoah said the NCC was frantically working on the Legislative Instrument to serve as guidelines for those interested in the commercial farming of the plant and pleaded for all to exercise restraint until the final documentation of the Legislative Instrument.
Touching on the security operation at Boso, he said when the NCC had the tip-off, a team of military and police personnel together with operatives of the NCC were dispatched to the area to scout for the cannabis farms, adding that though the farms were located, no arrest were made, because the perpetrators had absconded.
Mr Amoah said, the farms were destroyed and several farming implement which were being used for the cultivation of the cannabis were seized as investigation continues to unravel those behind the cultivation of the cannabis for prosecution.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI
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