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IGR: Ondo Explores Marijuana Market

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Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said that Nigeria would be shortchanged from an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025 if it fails to tap into the legal medicinal Marijuana Market.

Governor Akeredolu who described Ondo State as the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria, noted that growing the plant is never a problem in the sunshine state.

He said, “We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. “

Governor Akeredolu made this known via his verified twitter handle yesterday while reacting to some media report that he was in Thailand to learn how to grow cannabis.

The governor said the focus of his administration is on medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled Plantation under the full supervision of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) while imploring the federal government to take it seriously as it is a thriving industry that would create over one thousand jobs for the youths and spur economic diversification.

LEADERSHIP reports that it is well known fact that Ondo State has become a centre for illegal plantations of cannabis in the country, with the plethora of problems associated with the abuse of the plant, especially among the youths.

According to the governor’s campaign office, The Campaign Concourse (TCC), as part of the efforts to find a lasting solution to this problem, the governor, alongside the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd) are on a visit to Thailand for a Programme on Medicinal Canabis Extract Development.

The programme which is centred around exploiting the possibility of medicinal cannabis extract development,  is 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 are using the visit to access Thailand materials and best practices 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 would be of great advantage to the Nigerian government.

Governor Akeredolu appreciated the Thai government and said that Ondo State is known as the largest producer of cannabis in Nigeria.

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?”

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

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

The 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 partnership with the Naresuan University Team.

 

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