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Manufacturers Welcome Idea

“It will grow very well here, along with marijuana for medicinal use, instead of sending people to jail for its cultivation.”
18 Jul 2022 13:02
Manufacturers Welcome Idea
The Textile Clothing and Footwear Council said marijuana cultivation for medical purposes should also be legalised , alongside the Government’s plans to amend the Illicit Drugs Control Act 2004, to pave the way for the establishment of the industrial hemp industry in Fiji.

The Textile Clothing and Footwear Council welcomed the announcement to introduce industrial hemp for commercial and export purposes.

Council president, Mike Towler, also suggested the introduction of marijuana production for medicinal purposes.

“Industrial hemp is good, but not enough,” he said.

 

“It will grow very well here, along with marijuana for medicinal use, instead of sending people to jail for its cultivation.”

In his Budget address, Attorney- General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said the Government would amend the Illicit Drugs Control Act 2004, to pave the way for the establishment of the industrial hemp export industry in Fiji.

“We’ve spoken about this in the past, and we’ve taken the time to ensure that we get this right,” he said.

 

Below One per cent

Industrial hemp was a lucrative and largely untapped resource in the global economy, owed to misconceptions about what it really was, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Industrial hemp is not the same as marijuana,” he said.

Industrial hemp contains a very low level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“It would not make anyone ‘high’, regardless of how much is consumed,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, said.

“The trick to getting this right is to ensure that we only import, and cultivate industrial hemp, with THC levels below one per cent.”

“Our amendments will be to that effect.”

 

“The Government will also amend the Customs (Prohibited Imports and Exports) Regulations 1986, to make industrial hemp a condition- al import item,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, said.

Industrial hemp will only be allowed into the country for the purposes of cultivation and export, once independent laboratory testing confirmed the THC content was below one per cent, he said.

“We have been working closely with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, to arrange for the Fiji National University’s Agriculture School, to grow these industrial hemp seeds,” Mr Sayed- Khaiyum, said.

“Once we have those in-hand, we will distribute those seeds to the farms.”

“We plan to source these seeds from Canada, which has some of the highest quality hemp in the world.”

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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