Guyana Laying Groundwork For The Development Of Hemp Industry

(CMC) – The Guyana government has tabled legislation aimed at establishing a hemp industry in the country.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said the Industrial Hemp Bill will “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 than marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol 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 the creation of a myriad of 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 and it protects the brain, boosts heart health, reduces inflammation, improves skin conditions and relieves rheumatoid arthritis.

Earlier this year, President Dr Irfaan Ali, said that Guyana can 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 and these are industries that can generate jobs, these are industries that have high-value return,” Ali stated.