Fantastic article by Hemp Today on the fantasists otherwise known as ” UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on CBD Products “
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Only about 20 farmers in the UK now grow hemp on a total of 800 hectares, according to the APPG. Reaching 220,000 hectares in five years would mean a 27,000% increase! For context, consider: Hemp fields across the entire EU, where farmers have been working to build an industry for decades, total about 50,000 hectares at best; and U.S. farmers harvested just 33,500 acres (13,000 hectares) in 2021 after stakeholders there worked for nearly a decade to groom the playing field for industrial hemp.
By far the best analysis of what this parliamentary group has been sitting around and dreaming about aloud when of course the reality is entirely different.
The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on CBD Products has taken direct aim at its foot, and fired off a few additional wild shots on industrial hemp in a grandiose plan to capitalize on a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” and “establish itself as a leader in the emerging global cannabis industry.”
Released late last month, the plan, from the APPG’s Secretariat Advisory Board (SAB) suggests that UK farmers could be growing hemp on 220,000 hectares (~550,000 acres), generate £5 billion in income, and create more than 100,000 jobs by 2027 as the crop “future proof(s) the UK farming industry.”
Setting aside the fact that “future proof” and “farming” should never be used in the same sentence, much-needed licensing and other regulatory changes won’t be ready in six months, massive investment needed to develop multiple value chains for hemp processing won’t magically materialize, and, most certainly, British farmers won’t be growing a half million acres of hemp in 2027 – all breathtakingly projected in the APPG roadmap.
Cobbled together by the SAB with input from a number of stakeholder groups who should know better, the “plan” is more hallucination than vision, grossly overestimating the potential for hemp farming, underestimating the bureaucratic process required to change regulations, and ignoring unproven market demand as it looks a short five years into the future.
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UK Parliamentary group’s curious fantasy: 220,000 hectares of hemp by 2027