Fiji Minister for Economy … We will need to amend hemp laws

Government will need to amend the laws on hemp or marijuana before it can finalise any cultivation of industrial hemp.

As it continues to consult experts on the proposed cultivation of industrial hemp, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this was imperative because the existing laws were general and classified all kinds of hemp as illegal.

At yesterday’s 2022-2023 National Budget Consultation held in Labasa, he told participants they had been advised by the UN about availability of good industrial hemp seeds in Canada.

He said such industrial hemp contained low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compared with the Indian hemp.

“People get high with marijuana or Indian hemp but the industrial hemp is 1 per cent or less and this hemp will not make you high even if you smoke an entire plantation,” he said.

“Instead, it’s highly fibrous and people make clothing with it.

“So we are working with the UN to ensure we get the right seeds and they have told us that Canada has good seeds and we can grow it here.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum reiterated that the Government remained committed in ensuring all Fijians benefitted from projects under their leadership.

He also advised youths to make use of opportunities under the Job for Nature initiative in which the Government would pay them $4 an hour.

“You need to have a registered club like youths or women’s club so you come to us, fill the form and we pay your wages every week and you do the planting for us.

“Right now in Fiji, we don’t have breadfruit farms or mandarine farms so we want you to start doing this. Keep this in mind and we will announce more about this in the budget on how you can go about this.”

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