Parliament has passed the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023, bringing significant changes to the cultivation of cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes.
The amended bill grants the Ministry of Interior the authority to issue licenses for the cultivation of cannabis, thereby enabling the utilization of this plant for various beneficial applications.
This development comes after the Supreme Court invalidated provisions within the Narcotic Control Commission Act that permitted the cultivation of specific types of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes.
The court contended that these provisions contravened Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution. Despite an appeal filed by the Office of the Attorney-General, the Supreme Court dismissed the review application in a narrow 5-4 decision.
During the parliamentary debates surrounding the amendment of the bill, Members of Parliament emphasized the importance of cultivating certain types of cannabis.
They underscored the potential benefits that can be derived from harnessing the properties of cannabis for industrial and medicinal uses.
With the passage of the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023, the Ministry of Interior will now have the responsibility of issuing licenses for cannabis cultivation, facilitating the growth of this industry and opening avenues for further exploration of its potential.