First and foremost, hemp grown in Belize should benefit all the people of Belize
Here they come. As a matter of fact many are already here. All these big-time folks from all these big-time places, with self-serving speeches. They have money, they have experts, they have seed, and they have grand promises.
This is the rebirth of an ancient crop whose history has been basically withheld. The value of this plant is, that it is, a high- quality raw material with over 35,000 known value-added uses, and it is demanding high-value-added dollars on the world market.
This newly legalized multi-billion dollar crop needs some local control and participation, or these out-of-state folks will take control and feed us the crumbs.
So what’s up – – truth or myth? Cannabis for industrial use comes from a different seed than cannabis for marijuana.
Myth! They come from the same seed; it has to do with breeding and means of cultivation. Don’t be fooled; cannabis for industrial purposes and cannabis for marijuana originally came from the same seed. Some have been selectively bred to reduce THC.
As those who have had to deal with Monsanto’s seeds know, he who controls the seed controls the whole show. Low THC seeds are all controlled and proprietary.
Foreign Proprietary Low THC Seed vs Belize Local Seed.
Foreign Low THC –Advantage: Legally accepted as industrial hemp cannabis; lots of different seeds available worldwide
Foreign Low THC – Disadvantages: They are not from here so they don’t grow rich and full like the local variety. They are all controlled seeds, giving over control of the crop. The harvest will belong to the holder of the proprietary seed. Value- adding (35,000+ products) will be controlled by the one who owns the seed. That will not be the people of Belize, unless we use local seed. You must buy new seed for each crop. There are no tropical strains. It will require lots of time to ac-clement a seed that will produce profitable crops here, but it will be out of the race if local seed is allowed to compete. It may require use of lots of toxic chemicals, like those small papayas that come from somewhere else, negating one of hemp’s great benefits — very low to nil use of toxic chemicals that pollute the product and the environment. Most of the profits will exit Belize.
Belize Local Seed – Disadvantages: Possible legal hassles due to misinformation. Could cross-pollinate seedless marijuana crops, negating its use as a medicine.
Belize Local Seed – Advantages: It is already here. We can hit the ground running, saving years of breeding. Many strains, none of which are patented, are here and control-free, to be used and sold by all. It produces massive amounts of seeds, allowing for exponential growth. It can rapidly be adapted for fiber and/or seed production. It will produce outstanding high- yield crops, capable of producing very special grades and quality for niche markets. It is capable of crude fiber and oil production for industry.
Belize’s use of the local seed could develop the seed market for tropical strains. We have the seed and the cultivators, here, now, ready, willing and able to start right now. It can and will explode, giving countless opportunities to all of Belize, or we can watch as the opportunities that were possible are gone as we once again are left to glean for ourselves.
When cultivated for industrial purposes (as a field crop), our local seed may contain more THC than the low THC proprietary seed, but like the low THC seed, when the local seed is cultivated exclusively for industrial purposes (as a field crop) you could smoke it all day, but it will not get you high. We can only speculate that the desire for low THC is to keep us from getting high, not to increase quality.
Well, guys, let us clue you into what was well known by those who participated from the beginning. Cannabis cultivated for industrial use (as a field crop) was and still is not the same as cannabis cultivated (as a garden crop tree by tree) for marijuana, even though they came from the same seed.
Some unscrupulous folks tried to sell field crop cannabis as marijuana, in days gone by. It looked the same, smelled the same, but to the consumer it was immediately understood that it was no good and earned the name “rag weed”.
So let us, people of Belize, cultivate our local seed for industrial purposes. Don’t worry, the sky will not fall, but Belize will rise.
Belize should immediately begin a plant breeding program to develop seed for our purpose. Once harvested, there is a world market for the raw material, or, one or more of the 35,000+ forms of value-added bulk and/or custom products, currently in high demand on the world market.
Rather than having some foreign investor take all the harvest, because they hold the patent on the seed, I propose to not sell the raw material from the local seed, but to do our own value-adding, which includes low and high tech processes. We should create a nationwide network of cottage industries using the hemp we have grown and sell our products on the world market.
Don’t cut us, the people of Belize, out of the picture. We have the people, we have the knowledge, we have the seed, we have the land, and we want the money, too.
EZEKIEL 34-29: I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
(Ed. NOTE: The opinions of the writer are his own, and not necessarily those of this newspaper.)