Ever since it’s weaning stages under British Rule, Nigeria has frowned at the use of Cannabis. We have limited its use, over public health concerns, since 1935, till date. However, the irony is Nigerians are still the World’s highest consumers of the cannabis drug, with over a tenth of its population consuming it, says the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, and also, having one of the highest percentages of observers of the global 4:20 day, which is today.
Nigerians (1 – 0) Law.
However, it seems the lawmakers are gearing for a dying-minute ‘penalty kick’ as new legislative debates are ongoing to intensify penalties for individuals caught in the cannabis supply chain. And while it looks like a goal likely to be scored in due time, it is crucial to check the VAR and understand how exactly we just might be scoring home goals against our development as a country.
Relax, I would explain. Agriculture is supposed to be our economy’s mainstay, but have you gone out to the markets to buy tomatoes or eggs recently? My goodness! Food prices and inflation are like Siamese twins now. Up until recently, we even imported ‘rice’. So, you see how we have food, but cannot eat? Remember that our nursery rhyme? , that is Nigeria at the moment. A football match with rigged fixtures because we have failed to look within us and make the most of our position as literal African Giants, transforming and developing Nigeria, ensuring the whole of Africa feels our impact.
Nigeria’s economic standing is not even standing at the moment. Barely escaping recession, we have continued to survive on our thinning cash-cows of crude oil, gas, amongst others. Agriculture, on the other hand, has and will always be a goldmine for any intelligent economy particularly for forward thinkers, Agriculture, on the other hand, has and will always be a goldmine for any intelligent economy particularly for forward thinkers, who seek dynamic opportunities in agriculture, as we are talking ground-breaking revenue here, waiting to be generated for Nigeria -not just through rice and beans farming.
Between October and December, 2020 – when the world was still groaning from a Covid-19 induced hardship – agriculture stepped in like a big boy and contributed 26.95 percent of the country’s total GDP. No doubt, farming is a tripod leg that can help balance this economy before she falls and does not wake up again, a lot like the wicked women in Nollywood flicks.
There are several benefits of farming Cannabis, which would be referred to as Industrial Hemp, in this article, in order to eliminate the mindset that “drug” is all the cannabis plant is good for. While the plant has been perilous for recreational consumption, it has over 50,000 industrial uses that are probable goldmines for the country- Nigeria, and Africa, in extension.
This is because Nigerians actually have legacies of expertly farming the hemp plant, even before it became a ‘crime’. In the aim of escaping ill-fated fortunes behind bars, several Hemp Farming families have converted their lands, sold them, or halted their businesses, whereas their harvest could have been channelled/charged towards industrial or even medical use.
The Royal Calamus Company of Africa (RCCA) is an indigenous business seeking a refurbished agricultural sector through unconventional, out-of-the-box farming. They’re emphasizing and specifically exposing the important role of industrial hemp- the high in fibre, non-narcotic and low in active tetrahydrochandrocannabinol (THC) – part of the cannabis plant- in revolutionalizing the revenue GDP of Nigeria and the lives of Nigerian people.
This emerging Nigerian franchise-RCCA has begun demonstrating models of how industrial hemp can be used towards enhancing the Nigerian health sector-through pharmaceuticals, beauty & body products, for construction, and car manufacture, just to name a few value-adding qualities of industrial hemp; following in the footsteps of several intelligent economies, like as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and neighbourhood Ghana, who has authorized the production of cannabis for varieties with THC-(the non-narcotic 0.3% or less) part of the cannabis plant.
Half-time analysis: this post is not intended to glorify drug abuse, in any form, but simply to spotlight the economic potential of safe and legalized Hemp Farming, in Nigeria.
RCCA is already making fashionable and eco-conscious clothes, CBD oils, nutraceutical, and bioceuticals from hemp, essentially showing and proving the -over 50,000 uses of the plant. They’re spearheading the petition and avocation for the cultivation and processing of legal cannabis, industrial hemp- for producing quality products that’ll yield local and international benefits in sales and export which’ll encourage, boost and promote sustainable wealth creation amongst African citizens.
Having said all this, shall we continue to fold our arms and ignore the potential of this industry, while the price of bottled water and garri continue to increase in the market?
Recession (1-0) Nigerians.
Any discerning mind now should start scenting the revenue in the farms already. As it is time for Nigeria to sharpen its focus on a diversified economy and the opportunities existing in Hemp Farming. We are not meaning to be Pablo Escobars, with the right business environment – starting with the legalization of Hemp Farming – Nigerian citizens too have the opportunity of becoming Dangotes and Otedolas through this special fuel which’ll drive her economy and fortunate citizens into self-sufficiency. With better supervisory and monitoring of the processes from cultivation to supply-chain, unlawful practices can be controlled and contained. Anything, except outright banning, can be done to improve our situation. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State recently affirmed: “With an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025, we would be short-changing ourselves if we failed to tap into the legal marijuana market. We (Nigerians) know how to grow it and it thrives well.”
Second half analysis: coming soon as you stay tuned to this segment.
Alright, this match is over, go home and say yes to Hemp Farming. Oh, and I heard the price of Coca-Cola has also increased in the marts too!
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