In a significant turn of events, Parliament has approved the Narcotics Control Commission Amendment Bill 2023, resulting in significant changes regarding the cultivation of cannabis for both industrial and medicinal applications.
Under the amended bill, the Ministry of Interior has been granted the power to issue licenses for cannabis cultivation, thereby paving the way for the utilization of this plant in a wide range of beneficial endeavors.
This development follows a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, which deemed certain provisions in the Narcotic Control Commission Act as unconstitutional. These provisions previously allowed the cultivation of specific strains of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes.
The court argued that these provisions were in violation of Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution.
Despite the Office of the Attorney-General’s appeal to reconsider the decision, the Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the review application in a narrow 5-4 verdict, solidifying the need for legislative action to rectify the situation.
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.