Press Release – AG meets members of Guyana Hemp Association

Today, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall M.P., met with members of an organisation called the Guyana Hemp Association. This organisation seeks the Government support in cultivating hemp on a plantation scale in Guyana.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Hemp Association, Mr. Turhan Deorga, expressed appreciation to the Attorney General and Government for their open-minded approach to the hemp industry and for holding a meeting with the Guyana Hemp Association.

The Attorney General formally thanked Mr. Deorga and his team members, which is one of the small political parties that helped to restore democracy in Guyana. The Attorney General informed Mr. Deorga that the Government made many promises which they intend to deliver, and exploring the cultivation of hemp on a plantation scale in Guyana is one of those promises.

The Chief Operations Officer, Dr. Asha Kissoon, produced multiple written proposals to the Attorney General setting out all the impacts and projections hemp would have if produced in Guyana. Dr. Kissoon explained that the Guyana Hemp Association is not going to have a traditional approach to the production of hemp. She explained that the hemp will be produced and grown in greenhouses and will be cultivated by professional/trained individuals.

Mr. Deorga further discussed that an organisation by the name of Nirvana has recently begun the production of hemp in Miami and attorneys-at-law in Miami have already drafted legislation. He highlighted a number of other jurisdictions where hemp is being cultivated.

Mr. Deorga expressed concerns about the occurrence of the Dutch disease due to the high profitability of hemp. He emphasised the need for the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute and the University of Guyana to be involved in the initiative since individuals in the agricultural sector know everything about hemp, however, refuse to get involved because of politics.

Mr. Deorga stated that Suriname has already begun the production of hemp on a large scale. Dr. Kissoon highlighted that hemp cannot be planted with marijuana because the plants would cross pollinate and this would destroy the entire crop.

The team explained that hemp is a multi-billion-dollar industry which can lend to the production of hundreds of items and can create fifty thousand (50,000) jobs in Guyana. Dr. Kissoon further explained that hemp does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is not a psychoactive drug.

The Attorney General agreed to study the bundle of documents submitted to him by the association and to incorporate it into his advice to Cabinet on the issue.