An agricultural group, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN), is lobbing the Federal Government to include cannabis, otherwise known as Indian hemp, in its non-oil export.
The association said including Indian hemp as one of the key agro commodities will make Nigeria earn $100 billion annual revenue from non-oil sector of the economy.
It was gathered from the association that its executives were in crucial talks with the Presidency to re-consider Cannabis weed as one of the over 52 agro commodities for export.
Confirming this move, the President of the association, Dr. Victor Iyama, explained that truly the association is talking to the Federal Government to lift embargo on Cannabis for export in order for the the country to earn more foreign exchange from agriculture.
Iyama stated that FACAN has put up a position paper to the proper authorities to look at the gains of Cannabis weed since it is one of the internationally accepted agro commodities for export and foreign exchange earnings.
He pointed out that at the international market, Indian hemp is a goldmine, regretting that the country cannot afford burning this agro commodity that can fetch her million dollars in revenue.
The FACAN president decried that in spite of abundant agro commodities in the country, the agricultural sector had not been able to contribute meaningfully to economic growth since the advent of oil.
He said: “There are about 52 agro commodities that can earn the country about $100 billion annually. FACAN has put up a position paper to the proper authorities on how this can be achieved. Besides earning revenue for the country, Nigeria has no business with poverty. We are blessed with all agricultural commodities. For instance, Indian hemp is a goldmine. We cannot have this million dollar commodity and be burning it. It is an agro commodity that takes only three months to cultivate and we will not wait until other countries overrun us on that anymore.”
Iyama said exploring possible avenues to boost agriculture would do the country good, adding that “it is about the most important part of an economy.
“Yes, we have oil, solid mineral, ICT and other things, but we cannot drink oil or eat solid mineral and so, agro economy is the way to go,” he said.
In the same vein, Don Jazzy, a popular entertainer urged the Federal Government to take advantage of the Cannabis weed export, saying that global cannabis industry is projected to hit about $200 billion earnings by 2030.
“From an economic stand point, I would advise government to see this as an opportunity for us to diversify our oil-dependent economy. Let’s imagine how much Nigerian states with arable lands can make as internally generated revenue on cannabis export if it is decriminalised. It won’t only help the economic development of the country, it will also create jobs for many Nigerian youths. The Cannabis industry created 64,389 jobs in 2018 as reported by Leafly and Whitney Economics.”
Besides, he noted that Cannabis, which contains hundreds of compounds (Cannabinoids) has a psychoactive compound called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC ).
According to him,THC is the lipid in cannabis which gives the high sensation noticeable in the display of weed smokers.
“One of the most important cannabinoids found in Cannabis is Cannabinol, which can be supplied as CBD oil. CBD, which is a non psychoactive compound in Cannabis; it cures for variety of health problems like migraine, seizure, nausea, psychosis, epilepsy inflammation, cancer e.t.c. This isn’t to say that THC doesn’t also have its positive effects which include increased appetite, pain relief, sleeping aid e.t.c but abuse of it causes memory loss, coordination problems and it can also induce schizophrenia.”