Build a new industry from hemp plant – Dr. Henry Lowe
Dr. Henry Lowe, research scientist and Director of Jamaica’s first Ganja Company, Medicanja, wants Jamaica to look towards creating a new industry from hemp to help alleviate unemployment and create meaningful economic growth.
Dr Lowe, who is promoting economic benefits from ganja, told RJR News that while some obstacles may be faced in growing the variety of canabis sativa (ganja, marijuana) that is used for medicinal purposes, hemp (also a branch of the sativa family) does not face such obstacles since it is not illegal.
Marijuana versus Hemp
Marijuans is a controlled substance, currently, because of the high psychoatic element it contains, known as THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). Hemp does not have a high THC content and therefore, according to Dr. Lowe, it should be exploited to the fullest extent possible in Jamaica, across a variety of fields.
He said hemp could help to create a whole new industry in the country where the fibers and protein rich seed produce hundreds of products.
Regarding his own interest in the development of medicines, Dr. Lowe sees an immediate advantage in using hemp, in the absence of a more liberal legislative approach to the use of the marijuana plant in the country.
Hemp, he said has some of the same qualities that are required to produce the medicines which he is interested in developing.
He said the plant can be grown on marginal lands and is calling for the government to consider putting thousands of acres of idle land into production of hemp for industrial purposes.
“It opens a whole new area, not just for foreign exchange earnings, but for jobs”, Dr. Lowe stressed, in relation to hemp.