The Illicit Drugs Control (Budget Amendment) Bill 2022 which seeks to amend the Act to pave the way for the establishment of the industrial hemp industry in Fiji, has been passed by parliament.
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says industrial hemp is a lucrative and largely untapped resource in the global economy due to popular misconceptions linking it to Marijuana.
Hemp and Marijuana both derive from the Cannabis sativa plant but they are cultivated differently, possess different chemical attributes and are used for different reasons.
A defining difference between the two is also the level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (‘THC’) present in industrial hemp.
THC is the psychoactive substance that produces the “high” associated with smoking Marijuana.
Industrial hemp contains less than 1% of THC and, as such, cannot be used as a recreational drug in the way that Marijuana is used.
Sayed-Khaiyum says this has immense potential for the Fijian economy.
Industrial hemp is one of the most versatile crops, with more than 50,000 uses including food, nutrition, personal care, health and wellness, paper, textiles, building materials, medicines, pet bedding, plastic alternatives, biofuels, and energy.
All other forms of Cannabis remain illicit drug.