Pres. Ali to encourage ‘ganja planters’ to join hemp industry instead


The hemp industry has been touted as a new, profitable sector in Guyana and President Dr. Irfaan Ali indicated that he will meet with and encourage Guyana’s “marijuana growers” to join this industry instead.

During a press conference on Sunday at his official residence, State House, the President reiterated his government’s commitment to the development of the hemp industry.

Beyond this commitment, though, the President also said that the government will be getting more people interested in growing industrial hemp locally.

“I intend to have a meeting very soon with all the marijuana growers in this country…to let them understand that there is a viable future in the hemp industry in Guyana and bring them into that,” the Head of State said.

The President hopes to encourage those “growers” to cease planting marijuana since that has social consequences. Though marijuana is both grown and consumed in Guyana, it is illegal.

A Special Select Committee of the National Assembly is working on the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Amendment Bill 2021; this bill seeks to amend the act, allowing for the decriminalisation of small amounts of marijuana.

Even so, President Ali said that hemp is considered a “mainstream economic activity” that can give those planters greater economic returns.

And he quipped, “They already have the experience in growing…they come with technical skills, frankly speaking.”

Already, the Guyana Hemp Industries has indicated that lands have been cleared, people are standing by and equipment is ready to be put to the plough following the government’s approval of the Guyana Hemp Policy.

Though there has been some delay, the company is well assured that the production of hemp in Guyana will be achieved this year.

And President Ali highlighted, “There is a great opportunity that lies ahead in terms of the hemp industry and what it can do in terms of the technological push and construction material, pharmaceuticals.”

Hemp is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel. It also has many medicinal purposes.

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