Ghana: Cannabis Could be the Core of the Diaspora Travel Experience, But Govt Blind to the Opportunities.
Global Cannabis Report 2022
14 December 2022 at 04:00:00
Ghana is well-positioned to revolutionize tourism in West Africa if it went further in liberating the plant.
Cannabis tourism could be an economic driver for Ghana, according to the Global Cannabis Report 2022, but the continued criminalization of the plant robs the Government of any opportunities in this regard.
In March 2020, Ghana passed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill, which has allowed for the use and cultivation of hemp in the country.
The new law limits the allowable concentration of THC in the plants to less than 0.3%. This stops short of legalising high-THC cannabis, significantly limiting the country’s cannabis sector potential.
Since the passing of the law, no significant progress has been made in finalising regulations and issuing licences.
In September 2022, the Supreme Court in Ghana ruled that the law passed to legalise cannabis had not followed due process, and therefore, the legality of cannabis in the country was judged to not have been constitutional. This matter is still being deliberated, but will certainly cause significant delays in the launch of the industry.
In recent years, Ghana has made impressive progress in growing its tourism industry, particularly focused on the African American diaspora community. ‘The Year of the Return’ programme, launched in 2019 to commemorate 400 years since the first African slaves arrived in the US, saw a significant increase in tourists from the USA, the UK and the Caribbean, and contributed US$1.5 billion to gross domestic product (GDP), according to government figures.
Ghana is uniquely placed to benefit from adult-use legalisation due to the strong historic links with the African diaspora since the ‘Year of the Return’ initiative.
However, recreational cannabis remains illegal in Ghana, and there seems to be limited political will to change course; this, despite Ghana’s compelling position to capitalise on their revitalised tourism sector.