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Guyana's Parliament approves industrial hemp legislation

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Lawmakers in the South American country of Guyana have passed an industrial hemp law that legalizes industrial hemp cultivation, paving the way for the industry. The industrial hemp bill was introduced in the National Assembly of the Guyana Parliament in May and passed on Aug. 8. The new law will allow Guyana to create a regulatory body for industrial hemp, the Guyana Industrial Hemp Regulatory Authority, with a board of directors. Under the law, the regulator will be able to license individuals or companies to grow and manufacture industrial hemp products, "including food, textiles, furniture, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics." Research licenses will also be allowed. Industrial hemp is defined as marijuana and its derivatives with a concentration of less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis. Agriculture Minister Mustapha Zulfikar said he expects hemp production to be an economic benefit and "a valuable source of foreign exchange," according to the Caribbean National Weekly.