Expedite Action on Cannabis Bill – Group Urges House of Reps

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The Civil Society Organisation Stakeholders on Farming for Medical Use Initiative (CSOF), has urged the House of Representatives to expedite action on a Cannabis Bill on the floor of the house.

The Cannabis control bill on the floor of the house is being sponsored by Princess Miriam Onuoha, a lawmaker representing Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal Constituency, Imo State.

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The proposed bill seeks to regulate the cultivation, possession, availability and trade in cannabis for medicinal and research purposes.

According to the lawmaker, the bill seeks to provide a registration and liscensing system for cannabis farmers and processors and regulate the industry from cultivation to end user in Nigeria.

CSOF commended the lawmaker for introducing the bill on the floor of the House while encouraging the House leadership to expedite action on the bill in a statement released on Thursday.

The group opined that the bill had the potential to unlock the benefits of the plant for medicinal purposes under strict control.

The statement noted that the best time to pass the bill was now as cannabinoid, the oil found in the herb is being used in the treatment of COVID-19.

“There are over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, that have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant; in Israel, The Tel Aviv hospital Ichilov has already gone ahead and started using CBD or the non-psychotropic parts of the cannabis plant against the novel Coronavirus in a new study.”

“A cannabis control law would have helped Nigeria to join in the clinical trial of Cannabidiol for COVID-19 treatment, as the country desperately searches for cure at a time the health sector is beginning to get overwhelmed and stressed beyond remedy.

“The farming of cannabis for health, and it uses as CBD oil for chemotherapy in cancer patients and for other health benefits in Nigeria, is capable of creating thousands of jobs in the country, and also earn us a significant foreign exchange from exportation.

“We are urging the National Assembly to give this bill a serious consideration and pass it into law, since it has also addressed concerns, highlighted sanctions against abusers and make the regulatory agencies more responsible.”

“We call on Patriotic Nigerians to support this bill presented by a courageous woman, so that Nigeria will not be left behind as other countries including Ghana, are moving in droves to regulate Cannabis farming and restrict its use for controlled and monitored Health treatments only.”

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