Sometimes, drugs will make people do unexpected things. At other times, however, steps towards legalisation of psychoactive substances can lead to unexpected benefits and side effects. In Uruguay, businesspeople and farmers are starting to grow aware of their unique position in the world when it comes to industrial hemp cultivation and the opportunities it presents.
Hemp, or cannabis, is an incredibly versatile plant steeped in a long history of various cultural and industrial applications. This was perhaps not what the government of Uruguay had in mind when deciding on the legalisation of marijuana, but residents of this South American country have discovered some potentially interesting spin-off products on the fly.
This Wednesday, the Uruguayan legalisation experiment entered its final stage, allowing pharmacies to sell government-cultivated strains of cannabis to the populace. Although many pharmacists hesitate over fears of robbery or principal objections, this is indeed a giant leap for stonerkind. The world is watching as the plan unfolds. Meanwhile, it’s not just recreational smokers and medicinal users who regard this as a major opportunity, as reported by Uruguayan newspaper El Observador. Investors, businesspeople and farmers are pondering the potential of growing industrial hemp for economic gains.
Hemp has been used industrially since the dawn of mankind. This fibrous, dextrous, and easily cultivated plant can be applied in rope and sails for shipbuilding, textile for clothing, construction materials, and animal feed, to name but a few of its uses. Recently though, there has been increased interest in hemp used for human consumption. As the world population keeps on expanding, with more mouths to feed every year while resources dwindle, hemp is becoming a very interesting alternative to many steeple diet ingredients. Not only can kemp, as non-psychoactive hemp is known, replace soy components in fodder for animals; its seeds are perfectly suited for feeding humans too. As the limitations of soy production are becoming more evident, farmers across South America are looking for viable alternatives. Kemp can be a real socioeconomic alternative, as it requires no pesticides to produce greater yields than comparable crops. These high protein seeds may be a considerable boost in the effort to feed a hungry planet, while the fibres produced at the same time trap carbon in their tissues. This can be used in sustainable construction, leading to further reduction of harmful emissions. A welcome alternative indeed!
As a serious professor, I can only wonder at the unknown applications of our beloved hemp plant that may prove crucial to the survival of our species. Of course, I knew about edibles, but cannabis saving the world from starvation is more than I had hoped for. At any rate, it brings a smug stoner’s grin to my face when I realise the irony of the fact that the smoke I exhale comes from the same wonderful plant that may help us cut carbon emissions and realise clean air for generations to come…
Regards from your guide through all cannabis conundrums,