The Governor of Ondo, State Rotimi Akeredolu says the state is ready to tap into legal marijuana market under the supervision of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“We all 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,” Akeredolu said on 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,” he added.
Between January and August 2018, NDLEA destroyed drugs weighing 110,542 tonnes in Ondo State.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Muhammad Mustapha, said the magnitude of cannabis planted in the farmland of the state is alarming.
“This quantity of drugs weighing 110,542 tonnes which we are about to destroy is frightening and demands more reflections. As a result of cannabis plantations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find virgin forests,” Mustapha said.
The governor, however, said the state will focus on the medical cultivation of cannabis and implored the Nigerian government to take it seriously as it is a striving industry that will bring along economic opportunities in the country.
“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 & spur Economic Diversification,” Akeredolu said.
If the federal government permits the state to go ahead with plans, Nigeria might be joining 30 countries of the world who have legalized medical cultivation of Marijuana.