Enthusiasm high: First hemp seed could be legally planted in Guyana soon
As the world celebrates Global Hemp Day, observed annually on April 21, an enthusiastic Guyana Hemp Industries is hoping that the first hemp seed could be planted legally here by June 2021.
The renewed hope comes as the advocacy body was notified recently by Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, that he has completed all legal recommendations for the establishment of industrial hemp in Guyana and submitted same to the Ministry of Agriculture.
During an interview with the News Room on Friday, Co-Chair of the Guyana Hemp Industries, Michael Kirton, said a meeting has now been requested with the Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, to move the process forward.
That meeting could take place as early as next week.
“He [the Attorney-General] said to us that he is finished with his part, it is now left to the Ministry of Agriculture,” Kirton said.
“We congratulate the administration for what they have done so far,” he added.
Speaking on the readiness of hemp advocates across the country, Kirton said everyone stands ready to start the associated production and manufacturing activities with land clearing underway.
He said the body has already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a USA based company to provide supplies seeds and equipment needed to start the project in Guyana.
“We hope every soon to see the establishment of Guyana’s hemp industry.
“We are very satisfied with what this administration has been doing. Even lands we applied for has been fast-tracked by this administration and we see a great light ahead. Even the Ministry of Finance and the GRA are looking to give us some duty-free concessions,” he added.
He anticipates that the first seed will be planted by June 1, 2021, along the East Bank of Berbice and hopes that President Irfaan Ali would agree to be the one to plant the first seed.
“it’s been a hard task, we started with the Guyana Hemp Association and while that is still in existence, it has been dormant and we decided from the Guyana Hemp Industries and with a lot of input and funding we were able to push the lobbying process very far,” he added.
Kirton said the returns are pegged at $6 million from every acre of hemp every 90 – 100 days.
This breakthrough comes after four years of dedicated and serious lobbying and millions of dollars spent on education awareness by the Guyana Hemp Industries, pushing for the legalisation of industrial hemp.
Lobbyists for the cause are now rejoicing that legislation of industrial hemp in Guyana may come sooner than later.