Ghanaian law allowing hemp cultivation declared unconstitutional

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In a majority decision (5-4), the Supreme Court upheld that the law allowing the cultivation of hemp in Ghana, passed in 2020, had been unconstitutionally passed by Parliament.

In July 2022, the Ghanaian court struck down Section 43 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 1019.

This provision stated that “the Minister, on the recommendation of the Commission, may grant a license for the cultivation of cannabis commonly known as ‘wee’ in Ghana, the THC content of which does not exceed 0.3% by dry weight, for the purposes of industries for the production of fibers or seeds for medicinal purposes”.

The nine-judge panel led by Justice Jones Victor Dotse ruled by a majority that the attorney general had not met the threshold required to reconsider the Supreme Court’s earlier decision. The majority found that the original annulment was correct.

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, the Attorney General filed for review, alleging a denial of justice and a lack of transparency in Parliament during the crafting of the Cannabis Licensing Act. They point out that there was no debate in parliament, as required by the constitution, before the law was passed.

The Attorney General therefore filed a motion for review.

It remains to be seen how the Supreme Court will respond to the Attorney General’s request for review, as the debate over the legality of cannabis licenses continues.

In December 2020, Ghana was due to host its first-ever cannabis conference, which ultimately did not take place.

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