A Sicilian Regional Assembly (ARS) member has put forth a bill aimed at expanding hemp farming and production as local stakeholders envision the development of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biodegradable raw materials and semi-finished products for a range of industry sectors.
“The role of agriculture today has new needs arising from the renewed needs of consumers,” Giorgio Assenza, an Assembly deputy who started the legislative initiative, told CanapaIndustriale.it. “Sativa hemp is a large portion of the agricultural future of our region,” Assenza added.
Stakeholders welcomed the bill. “This marks the beginning of the agricultural resurgence of Sicily,” said Sergio Martines, CEO at Canapar Corp., a producer of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals based in Ragusa.
Assenza suggested a thriving Sicilian industrial hemp sector could provide up to 10,000 jobs throughout the island, where soil and climate conditions of its coastal and river valleys are highly suitible for hemp cultivation.
Martines said the bill offers the possibility for Sicily to create a competitive advantage over the rest of the European hemp industry. “We want this region to become the European center in the transformation of industrial hemp,” he said. “Thanks to this bill, we can further open up to the international market and commit ourselves to cultivating in Sicily.”