Minister Dery Made ‘Ganja Master’ …Parliament gives him power to issue license for cultivation of ‘wee’ for medicinal purposes

Parliament has passed a law to grant licenses for the cultivation of Cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes.

The law, passed on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 permits the Minister for the Interior to grant licenses for the cultivation of Cannabis, also known as ‘Wee’, with no more than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament

The Narcotics Control Commission (Amendment) Act, 2023 amends the existing Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019)passed three years ago.

The new law restores Section 43 of the main law, Act 1019, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional, following a suit.

Section 43 of Act 1019 (1) stipulates that “the Minister, on the recommendation of the Commission, may grant a license for the cultivation of Cannabis, which has not more than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis, for industrial purposes for obtaining fibre or seed for medicinal purposes.”

Subsection 2, which is the last under the Section, says “For the avoidance of doubt, a license granted under Subsection (1) shall not be for the cultivation of Cannabis for recreational use.”


On Wednesday, at the Consideration Stage, the House dealt with the amendment proposed by the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which was just a clause.

The Committee proposed an amendment to read that: Section 43 was being “inserted” into Act 1019 as a new section, as the previous one ceased to exist after the court decision. The House agreed to the amendment proposed and the entire clause.

There was debate on the use of the words ‘empower and authorise’, as part of the long title of the Act. Whereas the original title said the law was to empower the Minister, an objection was for the use of authorise.

Some members argued that to empower and to authorise had the same meaning, but the MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, who proposed the deletion of empower for authorise, argued that the latter gave official strength to act. James Agalga, Builsa North; Bernard Ahiafor, Akatsi South; and Patrick Yaw Boamah, Okaikoi Central, all disagreed with the proposed amendment.

However, when the Speaker put the question, the majority voice supported the word empower, and the proposed amendment was defeated.

The bill was then “deemed read the third and passed,” the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, stated after putting the question for the third reading.


The Speaker of Parliament, at the Second Reading of the Bill on Thursday, July 6, 2023 indicated that the House was not seeking to “review” the decision of the Supreme Court but instead to “correct” an error.

He opined that the decision of the court had occasioned a miscarriage of justice, and tasked the leadership of the committees of Health and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, to work together on the bill.

“It is a matter that is dear to my heart personally. And I think the country is losing a lot as a result of this [Supreme Court] decision. We need to work expeditiously to rectify the wrong,” he said.

He hoped that the three arms of government would work together to clear doubts about each other’s work before taking decisions.


The Minister explained to Parliament on Thursday that the amendment does not seek to legalise the recreational use of cannabis but to allow the minister to issue a special license for its production to a certain specification.

He argued that the idea was to move in tandem with the modern approach to the production of this cannabis to specifications for industrial and medicinal use.

He cited that a number of African countries including South Africa, Lesotho, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia were doing the same.


The Minister outlined the fact that there was economic benefit to be derived from the specific Cannabis to be produced under the bill, stating that “a billion dollars is out there and countries like Canada, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina and Peru have all identified and are all going along to make sure they achieve what is useful.”


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