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Akeredolu: We’ll be shortchanging ourselves if we don’t tap into marijuana business

Femi Owolabi

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, says the state could diversify its economy by tapping into the marijuana market.

In a tweet on Monday, Akeredolu explained that with an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025, the state would be shortchanging itself if it ignores the marijuana business.

“We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria,” he wrote.

“We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed tap into the Legal Marijuana Market.

“Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the @ndlea_nigeria. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of Jobs for our youth & spur Economic Diversification.”

The governor and Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), visited Thailand to learn more about extracting cannabis.

At a programme held in Thailand on Monday, Akeredolu said they came 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?”

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

During the electioneering, Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), had said Nigeria will export marijuana if he gets elected as president of the country.

He said people are making billions from the plant while Nigeria is lagging behind.

“We have to start taking care of our weed (Igbo), such that we can also contribute to the GDP of the world,” he had said.

In November 2018, most stores in Canada were reportedly struggling to meet the demand for cannabis, two weeks after the Canadian government had approved it for recreational use.

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