The House of Representatives is set to legalise the use of Indian Hemp in the country for economic benefit.
The House Spokesperson, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu said this during a news conference on the benefits and opportunities of Cannabis in Akure, Ondo state capital.
Kalu said that the House of Representatives has concluded an arrangement to organize a two-day stakeholders roundtable on the benefits of the weed.
According to him a date for the stakeholder’s forum, which will attract participants among scientists, medical and pharmaceutical professionals, farmers, insurance companies, executives, and private sector investors has been slated for June 7 and 8.
He explained that countries such as South Africa and others are currently reaping high revenue from cannabis which they export to other countries.
“Nigeria has been described as oil-dependent and not oil-rich. It is a worrying reality that we have not optimized the financial stability advantage that our oil reserves can provide us to diversify our collective investment and revenue sources. “
The coronavirus pandemic exposed our weaknesses when global oil prices plummeted by as much as 15 per cent even falling below $0 a barrel on 20 April 2020.
“Indeed, our economy is still recovering from that shock. However, as the world increasingly shifts towards renewable energy and climate-friendly energy sources, global oil demand will further drop. “Agriculture has always been a major strength of Nigeria and cannabis provides interesting prospects. Industrial hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use.
“Once harvested, the crop has a high yield of edible proteins and fibres with more than 50,000 product applications ranging from papermaking, textiles, biodegradable plastics, fuel, construction, healthy food, beverages, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals. “
The Special Adviser to the state governor on Agriculture, Mr Akin Olotu, while speaking at the event said the Ondo state government in conjunction with Culturepreneur Clusters Limited and other partners will hold a stakeholders’ roundtable on the benefits and opportunities of the cannabis plant and CBD Oil in Nigeria.
Olotu pointed out that the discussion will focus on research, legalisation, licensing, medical advantages, agro-economy advantages, empowerment, benefits of Internal Generated Revenues, Trade Exchange benefits.
He said the workshop is aimed at furthering legislation, scientific research and sensitization on the health, industrial benefits of cannabis and CBD oil as well as engaging stakeholders at all levels to leverage the multi-faceted value chain of cannabis.