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RASTAFARI COUNCIL OF GHANA HOLDS 2ND NATIONAL CANNABIS CONFERENCE, By Sena Dogbe

The Rastafari Council of Ghana under the auspices of its Advocacy Committee, on Monday, April 20th held the 2nd national cannabis conference. The conference which was hosted on the Council’s Facebook page by the Maiden Voyage Frequency TV (MVF TV) in accordance with the ban on social gatherings had over 250 participants from across the world.

Speakers made virtual presentations on the theme “Ghana Beyond Aid; Prospects of the Cannabis Industry”, along with the organizers who took notes of all comments, contributions and questions.

“I am very happy that Ghana joined the conversation and has now enacted laws to start benefiting from hemp as a first step”, Rocky Dawuni, the Grammy award-winning Ghanaian Reggae superstar said in his submission. He advised the government to focus on the cannabis industry as it will be helpful in bringing back the economy, post the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s promise in using this plant in its natural ways of healing and economic empowerment and we must elevate this industry to help build Africa”, Rocky Dawuni advised in his last statement.

Rocky Dawuni

“Build laboratories for quality control, research and standardization”, Godfred Aboagye, Co-founder of CBD International and main speaker of the conference said, while calling on the government to pay critical attention to the sub-sectors that need aid, if Ghana will be capable of producing Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified hemp products. He called on all Ghanaians interested in the industry, especially already working advocates to unite under one umbrella in the private sector so as to form a strong and dependable public/private partnership with the government.

“Make regulations in partnership with the private cannabis sector in order to effectively flush out the black and grey markets”, Godfred Aboagye cautioned, as he maintained that this is the only way the government can realize the envisaged high tax returns.

He also advised the government to promulgate a program that will rectify the harm caused by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws.

 Godfred Aboagye

Empress Mawuena Saffi, the Women’s Commissioner of the RCG called on Ghanaian women to embrace the opportunities the cannabis industry presents to women. She encouraged women entrepreneurs to exploit the sub-sectors of health care, nutrition and processing.

“Make license fees for hemp cultivation/processing/exportation moderate”, Empress Saffi said calling on the government to ensure that the poor farmers who have endured incarceration and societal scorn be given the right aid, to be able to compete against the multinational companies who will flood our terrain.

“The Women’s Commission of the RCG, hopes that government will also soon legalize cannabis for recreational and sacramental use” Empress Saffi said in her ending statement.

Empress Mawuena Saffi

Ambassador Lennox Francis Franklin, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to Ethiopia and member of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Regional Commission on Marijuana congratulated all governments of the world who have decriminalized or legalized cannabis in their countries as he advised those still holding on to the negative propaganda prevalent in the “drug war era” to relinquish them and join the world cannabis economy.

“Suggest the perspectives of Rastafari about the wholeness of cannabis to lawmakers”, Ambassador Lennox said, while admonishing farmers to maintain patents of original strains and not engage in the mad rush to get high levels of THC. He cautioned participants of the unwanted side effects of certain CBD products and artificially high-level THC products and strains.

“Multinational companies like MONSANTO seek to monopolize the industry to the detriment of traditional cultivators”, Ambassador Lennox lamented, calling on the Ghana government not to establish capitalistic license fee regimes to take out the average Ghanaian farmer as is the case in the Caribbean.

  Ambassador Lennox Francis Franklin

Sister Molebogeng Miyene, Co-founder of Bikoland and a member of the Cannabis Industry Development Association of South Africa (CIDASA) advised participants and farmers not to mix cannabis with chemicals that will contaminate its purity.

“Cannabis has been with Africans since time and indigenous people have always made cultural use of it” Sister Miyene said while advising Africans to use it for their healing purposes.

Sister Molebogeng Miyene

Khex Dan Pongo, Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the RCG in his brief submission applauded Parliament for legalizing 0.3% potent hemp but advised it to consider the legalization of cannabis in its entirety for maximum health and economic gains.

He ended his submission by asking all participants to observe a minute of silence for all who have lost their lives due to cannabis prohibition laws saying; “It is true cannabis has killed no one in history, but the enforcement of the prohibition laws has claimed lives; two at least that I know, Jamal of Nungua and Buju of Kokrobite, may their souls rest in peace and may their blood continue to fight for our freedom”.

   Khex Dan Pongo

Ahuma Bosco Ocansey, President of RCG and Chairman of the conference in his closing statement congratulated all the speakers, participants and sponsors for their efforts and encourage parents who entertain the fear of psychotic issues with the legalization of cannabis to drop such fears because the Narcotics Control Authority will make sure it’s not a free for all affair.

“Again as we grapple with a COVID-19 battered economy and step out of its throes, the Rastafari Council of Ghana would like to reiterate it’s call on Parliament to legalize medical marijuana as its health and economic benefits cannot be overemphasized”, Ahuma Ocansey said as he implored all interested in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the passage of the new law to contact the Rastafari Council.

“I am confident that the discourse of further regulations will be guided by science and facts and not emotions and myths”, Ahuma Ocansey said in his closing remark.

   Ahuma Bosco Ocansey

The conference was held in commemoration of the International Cannabis Day, April 20th (4/20) and is intended to come off annually. The major sponsors were Maiden Voyage Frequency (MVF), Xclnc Productions, Lalibela Productions and the Rastafari Council.

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