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By: Ade Adeleke
Ondo State governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has said Nigeria will be shortchanged with an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025 if it failed to tap into the legal Marijuana Market.
Governor Akeredolu who described Ondo State as the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria, noted that growing cannabis 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 on Tuesday 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 will create thousands of jobs for the youths and spur the economic diversification.
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 Program on Medicinal Canabis Extract Development.
The program which is centered 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 will be of great advantage to the Nigerian Government.
Governor Akeredolu appreciated the Thai Government and said Ondo State is known as the largest in the planting of cannabis.
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 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 etc
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 partnership with the Naresuan University Team.