Governor of Ondo State, Olawarotimi Akeredolu has urged the Federal Government to beam focus into the medicinal cannabis industry as parts of measures to diversify the country’s economy.
The Governor, who is currently in Thailand alongside the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Rtd. Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah for Medicinal Canabis Extract Development Program, stated that the multi-billion dollar industry if harnessed would help to create thousands of jobs for youths.
According to Akeredolu, Ondo State which is known for her fertile land for the cultivation of cannabis will make judicious use of the Thailand’s program, which he said is centred on exploiting the possibility of medicinal cannabis.
He also stated that the program would assist 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 all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State.
“With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed t tap into the Legal Marijuana Market
“Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the NDLEA.
“I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of jobs for our youth and spur economic diversification.
“We are here to study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the 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?” Akeredolu stated.
On his part, Col. Abdullah said the current trend in the world is to look into the advantage of cannabis in the making of food and drugs while, thee Secretary-General of Thai Food and Drug Administration Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong stated that the meeting will be of great advantage to not only Ondo State but to the Nigerian Government at large.