The governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, is looking to diversify the economy of the state by tapping into the marijuana market.
Backstory: In a tweet on Monday, Akeredolu explained that with an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025, the state would be shortchanging itself if it does not get in the marijuana business.
- “We all know that Ondo State is the hotbed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria”
- “We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed to tap into the Legal Marijuana Market.”
- “Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the @ndlea_nigeria. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create thousands 1000’s of Jobs for our youth & spur Economic Diversification.”
The governor and Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), were on a visit to Thailand to learn about extracting cannabis.
Abdallah said that the current trend in the world is to look into the advantage of cannabis in the making of food and drugs.
Why It Matters: In Nigeria, like with many parts of the world, planting, cultivating, possession, and importation of “Indian hemp” are all punishable offenses as stipulated under the Indian Hemp Act. States seeking to tap into the industry are likely to find themselves in a prolonged legislative process to amend or repeal the law. Further, Nigeria’s inherent conservatism and the ongoing drug addiction crises, as we have seen with tramadol and codeine, might make this a much more difficult process.
Sowore got there first: The call for legalizing marijuana was championed by another prominent Ondo citizen, Omoyele Sowore, during his failed presidential run.