The hemp industry is back in the spotlight tonight, following a Cabinet decision on Monday to constitute an inter-ministerial taskforce to carefully go over the Misuse of Drugs Act.  That committee will then make recommendations to amend the existing legislation in order to enable the proper development of the hemp industry.  It will also establish a national hemp policy and other systems of monitoring the progress of the budding industry.  The committee will draw from expertise in three areas, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries, as well as the Ministry of Sustainable Development, represented by ministers Jose Abelardo Mai, Kareem Musa and Orlando Habet, respectively.  Last Tuesday, Ministry of New Growth Industries, Kareem Musa, confirmed a partnership with Alex Lavin, Chief Executive Officer of Growth Industries, a cannabis production company in the United States.

Kareem Musa, Minister of New Growth Industries

“Leading the way forward we’re going to have to be very creative, very innovative in coming up with a policy that works for Belize.”

Reporter

“Now I’m sure you would be aware that the reason a lot of the hemp investment has stalled is because they cannot source financing because no bank is prepared to touch financing hemp or much less cannabis growth because of the banking blacklisting that can happen.”

Kareem Musa

“Well that is not the actual report that I’ve been given.  The report that I’ve been given, coming out of the industrial hemp committee board is that in fact the type of hemp seeds that were being imported were not conducive to growth in the country and so they were importing the wrong kind of seeds and so that is why it’s important, whenever you’re going into a new industry that you actually engage with experts in order to determine what is the proper seeds to be grown in Belize and so that is part of the reason.  I haven’t heard there being a concern over the capital.”

Channel 5