By Kurt Campbell
After four years of dedicated and serious lobbying and millions of dollars spent on education awareness, the Guyana Hemp Industries had hoped the legalisation of industrial hemp would have already been achieved.
And while the item is still outstanding, lobbyists for the cause are rejoicing that legislation of industrial hemp in Guyana may come sooner than later.
Co-Chair of the Guyana Hemp Industries, Michael Kirton recalls the efforts of himself and colleagues over the last four years, reminding that under the previous APNU+AFC government, a number of letters and documents were submitted in hopes to move the process forward.
“But we got nowhere,” Kirton said as he recoiled in disappointment.
It didn’t end there for the lobbyists and with a change of government in August 2020, Kirton and his colleagues wrote to President Irfaan Ali on the matter.
“He replied to us within hours, instructing that the Attorney General look into the matter,” Kirton told the News Room during an interview.
Kirton said since then, he had several meetings with Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and on Tuesday morning, he submitted, upon request, a feasibility study on the viability of industrial hemp in Guyana.
That study is likely to go before Cabinet for its review and approval.
“I want to say that the Attorney General seems very committed to ensuring that this multi-billion-dollar industry is in Guyana,” he added.
Kirton and the Guyana Hemp Industries have high hopes that the government will give permission to carry out a 10-acre trial project in each of the 10 administrative regions of Guyana.
He said farmers are excited to plant hemp because of the returns which are estimated to be far higher than rice and cash crops.
“We are very satisfied with the actions of the AG and government and we look forward to continuing to work with them on regulations for the industry,” Kirton told the News Room.
He was joined by Ras Kent Hollingsworth and Thimbi Hendricks from the Guyana Hemp Industries, who both echoed appreciation for the work done by the Attorney General.
They too are excited that their job of advocacy will soon come to an end and they will be able to take part in the actual planting of industrial hemp here.
Currently, there are 25 groups in Guyana and all of them are now rejoicing with the new developments under this government, Kirton said.
“We thought that after going through this lobbying and spending millions something would have happened before, but nothing happens before its time and this is the right time and we believe that Guyanese will get up and get with this new industry,” he concluded.