Ghana’s top court strikes out law on planting of cannabis

Ghana's Apex court

The Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional the law which permits license to be granted for the cultivation of cannabis or ‘wee’ in small quantities for industrial and medicinal purposes.

Section 43 of Act 1019 of the Narcotics Commission Act stipulates that “the Minister on the recommendation of the Commission, may grant a licence for the cultivation of cannabis popularly referred to as “wee” in Ghana, which is not more than 0.3 % THC content on a dry weight basis for industrial purposes for obtaining fibre or seed for medicinal purposes.”

However, the Apex court in a 4-3 majority decision on July 28 annulled Section 43 of Act 1019 and declared that it is a violation of Article 106 of the 1992 constitution.

“The plaintiff’s action succeeds. Accordingly, Section 43 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) is thereby declared null and void and struck out as unconstitutional as it contravenes the letter and spirit of the Constitution, 1992, particularly Article 106 (2) (a) (b), (5) and (6) thereof,” the court held.

Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution details the processes and procedures a bill may go through before being passed into law.

Although the Supreme Court did not provide the full reasons for its ruling, it noted that its decision will be filed at the Court’s Registry by August 11.

The Justices who ruled for the majority decision were; Justices Jones Dotse, Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi while Justices Nene Amegatcher, Prof Nii Ashie Kotey and Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu disagreed.

The case was brought before the Apex Court by one Ezuame Mannan against the Attorney-General.

Cultivation of weed in Ghana

Ghana in March 2020 passed the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) to join other African countries in the cultivation and possible export of cannabis.

The Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019), which was assented to by the President on May 11, 2020, has enshrined a particular provision that relates to the cultivation of cannabis in the country.

Some African countries are already through their national legislations engaging in the cultivation and export of cannabis or ‘weed’.


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