The small South American country of Guyana has passed an industrial hemp law that decriminalizes hemp cultivation and paves the way for a licensed industry.
The Industrial Hemp Act was introduced in the National Assembly of Guyana’s Parliament in May and passed on August 8.
The new law will allow Guyana to establish an industrial hemp regulatory body, the Guyana Industrial Hemp Regulatory Authoritywith a board of directors.
The regulator will be able to issue licenses to individuals or businesses to grow hemp and manufacture hemp-based products, “including food, textiles, furniture, medicine and cosmetics,” according to the law. .
Research licenses will also be permitted.
Industrial hemp is defined as Cannabis and its derivatives having a THC concentration of less than 0.3% by dry weight.
Agriculture Minister Mustapha Zulfikar said he expected hemp production to be an economic asset and “a valuable source of foreign currency”.
Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali sees this as an opportunity to convert cannabis growers to hemp and strengthen the country’s agricultural sector which has seen the decline of key crops like rice and sugar cane – a staple crop of Guyana. which has collapsed by more than 50% in recent years.
The government also sees a role for hemp in diversifying Guyana’s wider economy, while pursuing the country’s low-carbon development strategy.
The legislation is available here.