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Africa Could Cash In Big Time on Marijuana Industry

Africa’s share of the global marijuana market – both legal and illicit – stands at around 11% and is valued at U.S.$ 37.7 billion. Leading the pack is Nigeria with an earning potential of U.S.$15.3 billion, followed by Ethiopia at U.S.$9.8 billion, according to a new report.

The African Regional Hemp & Cannabis Report, 2019 industry outlook, a study by New Frontier Data, a Washington based research institute, indicated that cannabis, which is a genus of flowering plants in the family of Cannabaceae, recognized for its use in medical or recreational purposes.

The study that valued the global legal and illicit cannabis market at USD 344.4 billion, showed that Africa’s share from this global market stands at 11 percent valued at USD 37.7 billion. The study also showed that there are estimated 263 million cannabis consumers globally among which a third or 83 million are located in Africa. Ethiopia’s share stands at 7.1 million consumers, standing second to Nigeria’s 20.1 million consumers.

The “report covers 13 African nations which alone encompasses more than 565.4 million people, and of which, nearly 42.8 million are estimated to use cannabis at least annually. As this report further details, based on the study of consumption rates and volume, we estimate Africa’s overall market to account for 11 percent of the total global cannabis market,” the report indicated.

While, according to the report, global cannabis consumption rate stands at 6 percent, Africa’s consumption rate is at 11.4 percent, almost double than the global rate.

The report further claims that, “The continent’s growth presents opportunities for both medical cannabis and industrial hemp (a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use). Hemp is a source of fiber and oilseed being grown in more than 30 nations today.

Championing the cause of medical marijuana in Nigeria is the Ondo State Governor, Rotimmi Akeredolu.

Akeredolu recently traveled to Thailand with the Chairman of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha, to observe how the country’s medical marijuana cultivators are growing their crops.

“We are here to study how cannabis can be more advantageous to the [Ondo] State and Nigeria at large, just the way Thai Government has done,” Akeredolu said. “The program is centered around exploiting the possibility of medicinal cannabis extract development and it is aimed at building capacity and researching the modality of licensing for planting and extracting cannabis oil in Nigeria, as well as exploiting its commercial potential with focus on Ondo State.”

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