Akeredolu wants to start manufacturing marijuana snacks, drinks in Nigeria
By Elijah Olusegun
Ondo Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu has souped up his revenue generation gear, and he’s now ahead in the race to lead the market in, of all sectors, African cannabis economy.
If he succeeded with this industrialization brainwave, Nigerians, or first of all, Ondo citizens, will soon be feasting on delicacious cannabis snacks and drinks—and drugs, too.
Before then, he’s appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to legalise ganja cultivation—the major farm produce Ondo is known for in Nigeria, since the collapse of cocoa plantation.
Akeredolu made the appeal during his visit to Thailand to see how cannabis is being used to make food and drugs. And he tagged along Muhammad Abdallah, the CEO of narc cops in Nigeria—that is the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA.
“We know that Ondo State is the hotbed of Cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State,” he tweeted all the way from Thailand Tuesday.
“With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed to tap into the legal Marijuana Market”.
The governor, however, seems determined to succeed. That’s why he is making plans to start growing weed on large scale, and Abdallah’s NDLEA will be the farm managers.
And, pretty soon, the economic weed will be cultivated in backyards and horticultural gardens on micro-preneur scale.
He urged the federal government to “tap into this thriving industry for more jobs creation and economic diversification”.
Going by his SWOT analyses, MJ is a real pain in the neck in Ondo. Its farmers are constantly clashing with the NDLEA agents sniffing around the plantations. The opportunity thus presents itself by making the two work together in some kind of industry which is still alien to Nigeria.
It is illegal now to plant, traffic, or consume cannabis. Offenders can bag up to 15 years in prison.
In other parts of the world, things are changing, though. Recreational and medical consumption of marijuana is now legal in many states in the US. Australia, Puerto, Rico, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Macedonia, too, allow the use of marijuana for medical purpose.
You also can get really stoned just for the heck of it now in Jamaica, Uruguay, Spain, Slovenia, Netherlands, Columbia, and others.
Nigeria has the world’s third largest number of smokeheads doing marijuana, according to the UN–just as the African giant is one of the largest consumers of rice, a major crop driving its agric revolution now.
It’s very likely the weed will take over from the grain as soon as it is legalised.