By Kunle Adedoyin
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has said that Ondo State is ready to tap into the estimated $145bn medical marijuana market, being “the hotbed of cannabis cultivation.”
Akeredolu on Tuesday via his verified Twitter handle @RotimiAkeredolu, stated that the state would be short-changing itself if it doesn’t tap into the “legal marijuana market” whose estimated value has been projected to be $145bn by 2025.
The governor added that there was the need for the Federal Government to encourage the cultivation of medicinal Indian hemp in the country.
He argued that the Federal Government needed to weigh in, saying the industry is capable of creating thousands of jobs for youths and spur the economic diversification of the country.
“Our focus now is medical marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
“I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously, as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of jobs for our youths and spur economic diversification,” the governor said.
He stated on his twitter handle on Tuesday while explaining his recent mission to Thailand.
The governor said he was in Thailand in company of the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Col. Muhammad Mustapha (rtd) for a programme tagged, ‘Medicinal Cannabis Extract Development.’
Akeredolu said he used his visit to assess the materials and best practices of medicinal cannabis planting and growing, with the possibility of replicating the technology in Nigeria.
“We are here to study how cannabis can be more advantageous to the (Ondo) 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.
“The programme is centred around exploiting the possibility of medicinal cannabis extract development and it 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.”
“We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. How to grow cannabis is never a problem in Ondo State,” he declared.