Hemp branded a golden opportunity for Peru, but progress is lacking
Cannabis advocates in Peru say establishing a hemp program is key to better aligning the country with international sustainable development goals and can spur economic development. Opening a market for hemp would attract investors, spur innovation and new technologies while providing government jobs and tax revenue, proponents say. A bill pending in Peru's parliament would exempt industrial hemp from the country's drug laws and legalize cultivation and processing within a 1,0% THC limit.
Introduced by Deputy Luis Angel Aragon Carreño of the Acción Popular party, the law would legalize all parts of the hemp plant, allowing its use in a wide range of products. The flowers could be used to produce CBD, but smokable products are specifically prohibited by law.
The law would restructure Peru's current cannabis regulatory framework, which is exclusively focused on medical cannabis and prohibits the use of non-flowering parts of cannabis plants. In addition to removing these restrictions, the proposed measure would remove hemp from Peru's narcotics and psychotropic drug regulations, and establish a government-backed hemp program.
Peru has passed his law on medical cannabis in 2017, only setting guidelines late last year, but the country lags behind other Latin American countries in developing a domestic hemp industry.
"The opportunities for industrial cannabis are great", however "this law prevents the development of projects attached to the medicinal industry that serve to demonstrate the industrial advantages of this plant", according to the stakeholders who have united to defend the project of hemp legislation through an education and lobbying campaign with legislators….
Parliamentarians consult currently agrarian and industrial associations on the possibilities of hemp in sectors such as textiles, packaging, biodegradable plastics, fodder and food, and assess the potential of the industry to attract investment, provide jobs and generate tax revenue.
Recognizing hemp's potential to contribute to the Peruvian economy, the bill suggests the national industry could generate an estimated $35 million in annual revenue, with around $23 million coming from CBD extracts.
Under the proposed law, licenses would be required for commercial cultivation and processing; individuals would not be required to have licenses, but would have to demonstrate the legal origin of any hemp raw material used in their production.
The administration of the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI), the Ministry of Production and the authorities responsible for other relevant sectors, would set the specific regulations.
Ongoing consultations cover crop control by anti-drug authorities, seed supply, health protocols, environmental benefits and opportunities to tap into global carbon markets, according to the advocacy group, which is led by Raul Injoque, Ambassador of Peru to the Latin American Association of Industrial Hemp, and which includes representatives of national and international organizations and companies.
Although Peru has native hemp genes, local varieties have not been proven for fiber or grain production, notes the advocacy group, which recommends that hemp cultivation should initially be seed-based. certified culture from Europe or China.
La CO2 sequestration and remediation of soil polluted with heavy metals could also be positive outcomes of a developed hemp industry, the group also suggested.
According to the bill, MIDAGRI and the Ministry of Production would promote development through training, promotion, research and support for entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on supporting small farmers and strengthening agrarian communities.
Other specific provisions of the bill include:
- The planting, cultivation, harvesting, post-harvest operations, storage, collection, processing, transport, treatment, marketing, import and export of hemp and hemp-derived products would be allowed .
- Production would be permitted for “seeds, oils, tinctures, resins, extracts, powder, flour, fibers and other products” which “may be used in the manufacture of foodstuffs for human or veterinary consumption , cosmetics, building materials, energy and construction, in the textile industry, and any other form of industrialization, manufacturing or production. »
- Finished products made from hemp and intended for distribution and sale will be required to bear a label stating that they contain less than 1,0% THC delta-9.
- A fund for the protection and surveillance of hemp crops would be created, these activities being administered by the Anti-Drug Directorate of the National Police of Peru.
- A register of hemp farmers, processors and importers would also be established.