Hemp ‘valuable business’

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere has joined the list of high-profile individuals calling for the industrialisation of hemp.

He said the product was proving to be a high-value business and Fiji should not hesitate to tap into it.

Speaking at the 23rd Attorney-General’s Conference at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa at Natadola yesterday, he said industrial hemp had been called a wonder plant because of its estimated 25,000 different uses, which included food, rope, textiles, paper and building material.

“These industries give thousands of jobs globally and many countries are finding that industrial hemp offers huge economic potential,” he said.

“The industrialisation of hemp has far-reaching implications and not only for current government policies and legislation addressing the illegal use and effects of hemp.”

While addressing more than 350 lawyers, Ratu Wiliame said a great deal of supporting framework would be required in this, however, the fact that discussions surrounding industrial hemp had started already was a positive sign.

“It also challenges us to re-examine the current laws and institutional structures supporting the agricultural export industry and develop an all-encompassing institutional and legal framework.”

Discussions on industrial hemp and medicinal marijuana will also take place at the two-day event.

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