Guyana laying the groundwork for development of hemp industry

By Rumi Samuel Published on May 20, 2022
Guyana laying the groundwork for development of hemp industry

The Guyana government has tabled legislation to establish a hemp industry.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, said the Industrial Hemp Bill would “provide for the cultivating and manufacturing of industrial hemp and hemp-related products; to provide for the conducting of research and industrial hemp or any other activity concerning or relating to industrial hemp”.

The bill, tabled on Tuesday, also proposes the establishment of the Guyana Industrial Hemp Regulatory Authority, which will be the governing body of the hemp industry.

Hemp, often confused with marijuana, is a member of the cannabis family, but it has significantly lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than marijuana. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives users the ‘high feeling’.

Research has shown that hemp has proven to be a super plant responsible for creating various products, including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel.

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Centre said hemp is rich in protein, unsaturated fats, fibre, minerals, and vitamins. It protects the brain, boosts heart health, reduces inflammation, improves skin conditions, and relieves rheumatoid arthritis.

Earlier this year, President, Dr Irfaan Ali, said Guyana could develop a viable hemp industry.

“The hemp industry is not only about hemp production, but it is about having the processing and value-added facilities here in Guyana. These industries can generate jobs; these are industries that have high-value returns.”

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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