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(Special Report) Ondo, Edo may gain from $7.1b Africa’s cannabis market if…

Growing legalization of cannabis usage across the world may become a huge investment window for both Ondo and Edo states of Nigeria currently famous for salutary soils for the production.
This is coming from a new global report which revealed that the potential market value of cannabis on the continent could be up to $7.1 billion annually by 2023 if the production is decriminalized.
The country most closely associated with drug use (and drugged out tourists) is probably the Netherlands.
However, countries that have legalized the medical use of cannabis include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, North Macedonia, Thailand, Mexico and Uruguay plus another 16 nations underway. PP report is upbeat that decriminalizing cannabis production in Nigeria with the aim of targeting the emerging markets in Europe and Americas will avail Nigeria the $7.1bn business case by 2023.
Statistics of seizures by the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has shown that Ondo and Edo are running head-to-head in national production of the weed popularly called marijuana, but it has not been legalized by the federal government.
The report made it clear that “Assuming there is full legalisation and regulation of the cannabis industry, South Africa and Nigeria potentially represent the region’s two largest value medicinal cannabis markets going forward, worth $667 million to South Africa and $75 million to Nigeria by 2023, the report found”.
The report from Prohibition Partners (PP) which describes itself as provider of market insights and strategic consultancy in the cannabis sector includes detailed market value forecasts, regulatory timeline analysis, consumption data and healthcare analyses for nine key markets, including Nigeria, Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

NDLEA Cannabis farm in Edo
Massive Cannabis farm in Edo State, Nigeria

Managing Director at PP, Daragh Anglim in his remarks averred that “A regulated legal cannabis market could be transformative to patients, farmers and economies across Africa. From a financial standpoint, Africa could reap significant rewards through the legalisation of cannabis, with international demand offering a strong commercial opportunity for cannabis cultivation.”
“It is currently estimated that 38,000 tonnes of illegal cannabis is produced across Africa each year, with a market value of billions of dollars. This demonstrates the clear potential for an economic boom for African countries that actively seek to legalise and regulate their cannabis market,” he added.

NDLEA-Ondo cannabis
Operatives of NDLEA and others publicly burning impounded Cannabis stocked in bags in Ondo State

Analysts say even though African countries continues to see the usage as illegal, smarter economies with high production potentials can make a strategic step further to legalize just the production for export purpose only.
The idea is coming from critical revelations made from the PP report amongst them include the fact that international demand offers a strong opportunity to unlock the potential value of Africa’s legally produced cannabis, which could be worth up to $7.1 billion annually by 2023; Annual prevalence rates of cannabis use in Africa (13.2 per cent) cement the region as having one of the highest consumption rates around the world; Africa is home to five of the world’s top 30 countries for cannabis prevalence among adult populations (aged 15-64) with over 76 million users.
PP report also found that, leading African countries including Nigeria and South Africa have a long history of cannabis cultivation and many farmers have turned to illegal cannabis cultivation as the only means of subsistence.
For example in Ondo, the major cultivation hub with soils very germane for the production, there had been recurrent clashes between farmers, dealers and law enforcement agencies. Recall that few months ago, a patrol van of NDLEA carrying about four top officials of the agency were burnt in an Ondo cannabis farming enclave.