Armenia plans to allow cultivation of industrial hemp as a part of the recently announced ‘Economic Response’ programme. The recreational use of cannabis will remain illegal.
‘This will significantly activate the use of agricultural lands,’ Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan said during a government meeting on 4 February. ‘About 40% of the agricultural land in Armenia is idle. We will support this and other plans envisaging cultivation of crops with high yield and value.’
This decision is a part of the government’s ‘economic response’ programme, which seeks to kickstart Armenia’s economy after the dual economic shocks of pandemic and war.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan emphasised that the programme would not entail the growing of hemp for human consumption. He recognised that there were still ‘risks’ that need to be accounted for, but that ‘there are risk management mechanisms and they’ve already been tested in other countries’.
Industrial hemp is a name given to strains of cannabis with low levels of the psychoactive substance THC. It is grown primarily for uses as a textile.