Ghana's legal cannabis hits a constitutional roadblock


Ghana's legal cannabis hits a constitutional roadblock

1 September 2022
Talking Drugs

By André Gomes / TalkingDrugs

On the 27th of July 2022, the Supreme Court of Ghana gave a narrow judgement on a case brought before it, challenging the constitutionality of section 43 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act, which would have enabled the provision of licenses for medical cannabis cultivation.

This decision comes as a surprise as the Narcotics Control Commission Act had legalised the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes just in 2020, repealing the previous Narcotics Drugs Act of 1990.

The plaintiff, Ezuame Mannan, made the case that the procedure that led to the adoption of the amendment for Section 43 that enabled the cultivation of medical cannabis had been wrongly adopted. Section 43 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act of 2020 (Act 1019) states that a Minister “may grant a licence 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 or for medicinal purposes”.

However, a closer inspection to the Supreme Court’s decision revealed that something more nuanced had happened. Maria-Goretti Loglo, Africa Consultant for the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) provided more details on the case, explained to TalkingDrugs that the Supreme Court’s decision was grounded on the unconstitutional way that the medical cannabis amendment had been proposed.