Govt to lease lands in Regions 6 & 10 as hemp laws coming next month

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The Guyana Government will soon be leasing lands in Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) to persons interested in getting into hemp cultivation as moves are afoot to enact the necessary legislation for this next as early as next month.

This announcement was made by Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Sunday whilst addressing members of the public during a community outreach at Corriverton, Region Six.

“Next month, we are looking at passing legislation for the hemp…when you grow it, they can buy it from you and process it. They can make cardboards, they can make oils, soaps, fabric, a whole range of manufacturing,” he explained.

“So, we’re identifying two parts of the country to do this: in Region Ten and Region Six because these places have high unemployment…so we will probably lease out bits of land to people to grow the hemp and then they can sell it to the factory to process it,” Jagdeo added.

According to him, this along with the other investments being made by government in areas such as agriculture will generate thousands of jobs for Guyanese.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall had announced about a week ago that the first draft of the Hemp Bill has been completed and is being reviewed by stakeholders.

Nandlall had explained that the draft Bill is an expansive one that looks at what is being done is other territories around the world. However, he noted that there is not much to take from the Caribbean region since Antigua and Barbuda is the nation with a draft Bill while the others permit cultivation of hemp through minor amendments to relevant drugs or narcotics law.

“We are going in a far more advanced and sophisticated stage. We are creating an entire Bill that will have an entire governance structure and will also prescribe the relevant technical levels that will determine legality for hemp and will also regulate the way hemp will be cultivated, the areas that hemp will be cultivated at and how one would qualify to cultivate,” Nandlall had pointed out.

President Dr Irfaan Ali has repeatedly talked about the benefits that a lucrative hemp industry can bring for Guyana.

“The hemp industry is not only about hemp production, but it is about having the processing and value-added facilities here in Guyana and these are industries that can generate jobs, these are industries that have high value return,” the Head of State had noted.

President Ali had also previously disclosed his intention to meet with marijuana farmers on the possibility of them taking advantage of the hemp industry. He said it is a legal way for them to make money.

“It is a net gain for the country, and I want to have that conversation and I think that it is the responsibility of the President to lead in some of these areas in creating the level of trust for the transformation that is required. So, yes this is an industry that can also help in at-risk communities,” the President had explained.

Industrial hemp is from the plant species cannabis sativa and has been used worldwide to produce a variety of industrial and consumer products. Hemp is a source of fibre and the oilseed is grown in more than 30 nations.

Some uses for hemp include rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel. It is rich in protein, unsaturated fats, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Hemp protects the brain, boosts heart health, reduces inflammation, improves skin conditions and relieves rheumatoid arthritis.

Hemp seeds are particularly rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are known for improving heart health by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides.