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UN hemp report paves way for $18 billion global industry

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development suggests that over the next five years, the value of the hemp market could quadruple

The global hemp market could reach $18,6 billion by 2027 if nations around the world take steps to clarify the crop's legal status and address other key issues, according to a detailed industry report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Citing figures from researcher Krungsri Research Intelligence, part of the Bangkok-based Bank of Ayudhya, the report suggests that the next five years could see the value of the hemp market quadruple from an estimated $4,7 billion in 2020. .

The 84-page report sets out actions governments can take to leverage hemp for its economic and social potential, provides an overview of industrial hemp by production categories, and shows how these derivatives of the hemp sub-sector are reflected in the trade statistics.

Download the report here :

“Hemp value chains can drive growth in rural areas and contribute to manufacturing and food industries. However, to fully exploit these potentials, countries may need to take specific actions,” according to the report, which marks the first time that an international intergovernmental body has published a document promoting the use of industrial hemp.

Legal clarity needed

Clarifying the legal status of hemp as a non-toxic product is the first step governments must take to minimize the legal and financial risks for growers, the report observes.

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“The cultivation of non-toxic cultivars of C. sativa L. should be permitted in all countries, although it may require strict government control. Additionally, an approach favoring the threshold of THC in the end products, rather than in the field, should be adopted to encourage a whole plant approach and uses,” the report states.

Lawmakers could also put in place higher THC thresholds for “in the field” crops, up to levels scientifically recognized as non-toxic. “This would increase the pool of usable varieties in hemp production chains, thereby increasing the de facto possibility of growing cultivars best suited to specific environmental conditions and characteristics,” according to the report.

Other production constraints imposed by regulatory frameworks also need to be identified, and strategies should be developed for regional cooperation to establish viable and sustainable value chains, the report also suggests.

In addition to the legal changes, the UNCTAD report addresses the following points:

L'information : More transparency is needed for the hemp industry, including public data on hemp production in all products, country-specific data, and prices, the report's authors advise.

“At the international level, there is a clear need to improve the availability and accessibility of information. Efforts should be devoted to improving the current state of information on all aspects of this product.

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“Additional categories should be included to cover, for example, hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, hemp seed products, hemp oleoresins and essential oils,” according to the report.

Sustainability : The report also suggests that environmental and social considerations are “at the heart of the success of any hemp-related policy” and should therefore be considered within broader legal and regulatory frameworks.

“To ensure a globally sustainable hemp sector, growing hemp can provide environmental benefits that can be factored into policies aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and restoring healthy ecosystems,” observes The report.

As hemp cultivation can help maximize land use, it can also help increase incomes for farmers and rural communities, especially in developing countries, the report notes.

Industrial strategy : A comprehensive industrial strategy for hemp should be considered in most regions of the world, recommends UNCTAD, which notes that "this is all the more desirable as the size of the hemp markets is still relatively small and the economic constraints inherent in these markets are significant. »

The whole-plant approach can translate into business in both primary and secondary markets, and hemp cultivation could be further monetized by integrating carbon credit schemes on a voluntary basis, the document also observes.

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Tags : Environmentsurvey
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