Fiji Plans To Move Forward On Hemp Reform
The island nation is going to move forward on basic cannabis reform as early as next year.
The 300 island archipelago nation of Fiji is moving forward on cannabis reform. The nation’s president opened the new legislative year in November with a pledge to move at least the hemp industry forward as a way of diversifying the country’s agricultural sector. This vertical accounts for about 10% of the country’s GDP.
Current plans include identifying a foreign partner to help move the country successfully along with a first pilot project.
Industrial hemp, at least at the moment, however, is about as far as the conversation will go for now. Authorities are only interested in authorizing the growth of plants with under 1% THC.
Bringing Economic and Political Stability?
The Fiji Islands are located in the South Pacific, to the east of Australia and due north of New Zealand. With a complicated colonial past and a history of coups over the last twenty of its recent thirty-year history, authorities are clearly trying to establish a cash crop that is not too controversial. It is undeniable, however, that changing cannabis policies in both Australia and New Zealand (if not elsewhere) have influenced this new policy direction, although it is interesting that so far at least, hemp reform is as far as the island is interested in proceeding.
Fiji is one of the most developed Pacific Island economies, with a large subsistence sector. Tourism is the other big industry here, with white sand beaches and tropical weather year-round drawing global tourists. And while nobody is talking cannatourism yet, give it time. Thailand is moving rapidly to remove restrictions on its cannabis industry. Other countries in this part of the world, including the Philippines, which delayed cannabis reform indefinitely this year, are moving more slowly and cautiously.
Regardless, progress here does indicate that even in Asia, the subject of cannabis reform is shifting, even if slowly. Tourists come primarily from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China, and the UK. As the global economy rebounds from Covid, it is unlikely that this vertical will be overlooked, anywhere, as a source of economic development one way or the other.
For more updates on the global cannabis industry, be sure to stay tuned to the International Cannabis Business Conference blog!