By Smoke Buddies via El Planteo.
Fiji's Parliament on Friday approved an amendment to the drug law that aims to decriminalize hemp and pave the way for industrial use of the plant in the country.
According to the amendment, cannabis plants with up to 1% THC would no longer be controlled under the Illicit Drugs Control Act.
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said industrial hemp is a lucrative and largely untapped resource in the global economy due to misconceptions linking it to cannabis, Fiji Village reported.
He clarified that hemp and marijuana are derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, but are grown differently, have different chemical attributes, and are used for different purposes.
Industrial hemp contains less than 1% THC and therefore cannot be used as a recreational substance, Sayed-Khaiyum explained.
He believes that the hemp industry has enormous potential for Fiji's economy.
Hemp is one of the most versatile crops and can be used in a number of industries: food, nutrition, personal care, wellness, paper, textiles, building materials, medicines, plastic alternatives, biofuels, and energy.
The hemp clothing market alone was valued at USD 6.84 billion in 2021. It is also projected to reach USD 63 billion by 2029, according to a recent report by Data Bridge Market.
In addition, a 2020 analysis by Prohibition Partners estimates that the cannabis market in Oceania - which includes New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and other neighboring islands - could be worth USD 1.55 billion by 2024.
Medical marijuana sales, on the other hand, would account for nearly 40% of the market.
Photo By Prem-Kurumpanai On Unsplash.
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