The government of Guyana has started talks regarding legislation aimed at establishing a hemp industry in the country.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said the Industrial Hemp Bill, taken up last week, 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 proposes the establishment of the Guyana Industrial Hemp Regulatory Authority, which will be the governing body of the hemp industry.
Vision for industry
Hemp proponents in Guyana see economic benefits not only from hemp farming and processing, but see knock-on potential commerce in the marketing, banking, insurance and retailing sectors.
Supporters have cited studies they say show that planting 100,000 hectares (~250,000 acres) could create 40,000-50,000 sustainable jobs, bringing economic development through carbon credits and from the production of rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation and biofuel.
The government sees hemp production as a way to shore up the agriculture sector, which has seen declines in key crops such as rice and sugarcane – a Guyana staple crop that has collapsed by more than 50% in recent years.