UN Says Every Country in the World Should Be Allowed to Grow Hemp
A new UNCTAD report says the every country should be allowed to grow low-THC cannabis and that if nations could put together an international regulatory system, the global hemp market’s value could reach US$18 billion by 2027.
Cannabiz Africa/Hemp Today
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has made a surprisingly bold call that every country in the world should be allowed to grow hemp. It also recommends that THC% limits in hemp goods be regulated in “finished products” rather than“in the field”.
According to its annual Global Hemp Report, the global hemp market could reach $18.6 billion by 2027 “if nations around the world take action to clarify the crop’s legal status and address other key issues”.
It says that the “cultivation of non-intoxicant C. Sativa L. cultivars should be permitted in all countries even though it may require strict governmental control.
“Moreover, an approach favouring THC threshold in final products, rather than in the field, should be adopted to incentivize a whole-plant approach and uses,” the report says.
“Hemp value chains can boost growth in rural areas and contribute to both manufacturing and food-processing industries. However, to fully exploit such potentialities, countries may have to take specific actions,” according to the report, which marks the first time an international intergovernmental body has issued a paper promoting the use of industrial hemp.
The 84-page report defines the steps that governments can take to capitalize on hemp for its economic and social potential, gives an overview of industrial hemp by output categories, and shows how those hemp subsector derivatives are reflected in trade statistics.
Citing figures from researcher Krungsri Research Intelligence, a part of Bangkok-based Bank of Ayudhya, the report suggests the next five years could see the market value of hemp quadruple from the estimated $4.7 billion recorded in 2020.
Clarifying the legal status of hemp as a non-intoxicant is the first step governments need to take in order to minimize legal and financial risks for producers, the report observes.
Alternatively, increased THC thresholds for crops “on the field” up to levels scientifically recognized as non-intoxicant could be put in place by lawmakers. “This would allow increasing the pool of varieties useable in hemp production chains, thus de facto increasing the possibility to cultivate cultivars best adapted to specific environmental conditions and characteristics,” according to the report.
Other production constraints imposed by regulatory frameworks also must be identified, and strategies should be developed for regional cooperation to establish viable and sustainable value chains, the report also suggests.