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We’re for medicinal cannabis – Akeredolu

We’re for medicinal cannabis – Akeredolu

By Adekola Afolabi
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Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday shed more light on his trip to Thailand for Medicinal Cannabis Extract Development in the State.

Akeredolu, who spoke with newsmen at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, shortly after his arrival from Thailand, explained that the focus of his administration is on medicinal cannabis cultivation in controlled areas under the full supervision of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

He refuted the rumour making the rounds that government was encouraging cannabis cultivation, noting that government was only looking at the possibility of having legally cultivated cannabis for medicinal usage.

He frowned at illegal cultivation of cannabis in the state.

The governor observed that since many countries in the world are earning lot from regulated cultivation of cannabis, same could be replicated in the state by ensuring that only licensed people are allowed to grow and cultivate it in a regulated areas for the purpose of extracting its product for exportation.

He said the development would improve the foreign earnings and the economy of the country and the state in particular, saying many jobs would also be created through it.

Akeredolu, however, said the cultivation may not be immediate as the state would first be licensed by the federal government before going into it.

He disclosed that government would not go against the United Nations (UN) Single Convention which goes against accumulation of cannabis, adding that government would only license some people who would be given bloc in confined areas under the supervision of the regulatory agencies.

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He said individuals and institutions would be licensed to patent drugs from it that will be beneficial to the state and the country at large.

According to the governor, there is one year shortage of hemp oil need in Canada and Europe which must be filled in no time, adding that if the state cannot fill it another state will take the position.

 It would be recalled that the Governor alongside the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd) had visited Thailand for a Programme on Medicinal Canabis Extract Development.

The programme centred around exploiting the possibility of medicinal cannabis extract development, was aimed at building capacity and researching the modality of licensing for planting and extracting cannabis oil in Nigeria as well as exploiting its commercial potential with focus on Ondo State.

The Ondo State government and the NDLEA used the visit to access Thailand materials and best practises with the possibility of replicating them in Nigeria.

At the briefing, the Secretary-General of Thai Food and Drug Administration Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong stated that the meeting will be of great advantage to the Nigerian Government.

Akeredolu commended the Thai Government and said Ondo State is known as the largest in the planting of cannabis in the country.

He said “we are here to study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the state and Nigeria at large just the way Thai Government has done. Cannabis is used for medical purposes; how can it be cultivated for specific purposes and not be abused?”

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Col. Abdullah said the current trend in the world is to look into the advantage of cannabis in the making of food and drugs.

They also visited the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok where the Management made presentations on how to control cannabis, licensing, pharmaceutical benefits of cannabis, among others.

They also toured the University’s Cannabis research laboratory where Governor Akeredolu proposed that they also work along with Nigerian species during their research as Ondo State is ready for partner with the Naresuan University Team.

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