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21 December 2010 17:29:37 |News

Hemp processor moves to save growers costs


The NFU is backing a move by one of the leading hemp processors to bear the burden of licence fee costs being introduced by the Home Office which will penalise all industrial hemp growers in the UK.
Hemptechnology will be writing to all growers to inform them of the action which they estimate could represent up to £60,000 of unnecessary costs. The Home Office introduced licence fees last month under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) without consultation with the industrial hemp industry. It followed a more stringent regime of licences that were introduced in October 2009.
The increasing demand for hemp based products for markets such as the domestic construction industry and the export market for the fibres, used in the manufacture of BMW 5 and 3 series cars, means Hemptechnology is looking to more than double the hectares grown this year.
NFU Vice President Gwyn Jones said: "We are continuing to lobby for the removal of industrial hemp from the Misuse of Drugs Act and we are aiming to put as much pressure as possible on the Home Office. The continued inclusion is creating significant burdens for growers’ and the developing domestic processing and manufacturing industries. It is ludicrous that an industrial fibre crop continues to be subject to rules created for controlling illegal drugs. Industrial hemp has an important role to play in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, providing diversification in break crops for growers and creating green jobs in the UK.
"Hemptechnology should be applauded for their positive action on this issue. However, the unnecessary and significant costs, along with the increased administration burden from the licence regime threatens the future of this industry."
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