History of CBD and Cannabis: Ghana
Ranked as the third largest consumer of the world’s cannabis, Ghana’s history with cannabis has been marked by political, international, and historic pressures regulating its consumption.
Cannabis, CBD, and Ghana
Known as “wee” or “devil’s tobacco”, cannabis continues to be the most popular illicit substance throughout the country of Ghana. Aside from Nigeria, Ghana is one of the largest producers of cannabis in West Africa.
The first known use of cannabis for intoxication purposes traces back to the sixties. After World War II, troops returning from India and Burma brought cannabis seeds back, which were quickly adopted by locals for personal use and cultivation. Alternatively, its thought that African sailors from Sierra Leone coming down the coast made the use of cannabis much more widespread throughout West Africa.
Aside from personal consumption, Ghana is also a large distributor of cannabis. While the eastern coast is dry and warm, the Southwest portions of the country are both hot and humid, which provides the perfect growing environment for cannabis. Most cannabis cultivated in cannabis is either used locally or sent off to West Africa and portions of Europe.
Despite the precedence of cannabis in Ghana, it is considered illegal for both recreational and medical use. However, it’s possible to legally produce and use cannabis with a highly coveted license from the Minister of Health.
Those without a license are subject to huge penalties that may include heavy fines, significant jail time, and reduced employment opportunities upon release.
Even with these measures in place, Ghana is still one of the most historically popular locations for illicit narcotics industries and transshipment. Since West Africa is largely weak on border control, Colombian and Latin American drug cartels have chosen Ghana as a route to reach the rich European consumer markets.
Since 2011, there has been a decrease in the total quantity of cannabis seizures in cannabis. It’s unclear whether this represents the government’s decreasing commitment to hampering the drug trade or the flagging power of local law enforcement.
Ultimately, it’s a combination of underdeveloped legal institutions, porous borders, and the entrenchment of illicit smuggling operations that keeps Ghana popular amongst cannabis criminal organizations.
It’s unlikely that the government of Ghana will support increasing legalization of cannabis decriminalization measures any time soon. Even though Western nations are scaling back restrictions, the porous nature of West African borders remains a point of international contention. However, legalization could present an easy route for Ghana to develop greater economic independence from developed countries.