Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha tabled the Industrial Hemp Bill back in May and on Monday August 8, the historic bill was passed in the National Assembly, paving the way for the decriminalising of hemp.
The now passed bill will remove industrial hemp classification from under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (Control) Act.
With the passage of this bill, a Guyana Industrial Hemp Regulatory Authority will be established to oversee and monitor operations.
In giving his support for the bill, the Agriculture Minister said the production of hemp in Guyana is a win-win for all players involved in the sector.
“This promising industry is yet to emerge but imagine the possibility to bring to our economy. The demand for hemp from both production and consumption perspective by no means is insignificant.”
“For the grower it will be a source of income generation and job creation. For the consumers, it could have significant benefits and for the broader economy, it will be a valuable source of foreign exchange especially in the context of economy diversification,” Mustapha added.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd told the assembly that the timing is perfect for bringing hemp production on stream in Guyana.
Over the years, hemp farmers have been urging and pleading with past governments to decriminalise the cultivation of industrial hemp in Guyana.