Wednesday, March 22, 2023

UniMAP: Perlis has the best climate to cultivate “Cannabis”

NewsUniMAP: Perlis has the best climate to cultivate "Cannabis"

The University Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) has became the first university in the country to study the advantages of planting hemp as a agricultural product for the country.

For that purpose, UniMAP has just signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with this KL-based company, called MyUS Hemphouse to jointly conduct research on cultivating the plant in a 0.8-hectare plot of land at their Institute of Sustainable Agrotechnology (INSAT) in Padang Besar.

According to the MoU, UniMAP will provide the facilities and land to plant the crops, while MyUS will be building up infrastructure and provide technical resources for R&D and determine the commercial value of hemp as a new economic resource.

Meanwhile, MyUS is said to be the leading company which is working with the government to cultivate and produce hemp-based products in Malaysia.

Source: Bernama

So, what is Hemp?

Hemp is a type of plant that is part of the cannabis family tree, but unlike marijuana, it has slightly different looks and have different chemical makeups.

Hemp contains very low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compared to marijuana, which is a psychoactive ingredient that makes you ‘high’.

However, hemp does have a higher concentration of Cannabidiol (CBD) which is considered non-psychoactive but can induce feelings of relaxation for normal folks and pain relief for chronic patients.

Hemp is also known as one of the fastest-growing and most versatile plants on the planet, where almost every part of the plant can be used for something.

Source: FirstReporter

The plant’s fibres can be turned into paper, textiles and biodiesel, while its flowers can be processed into oils and extracts for beauty products. The plant’s seeds can even be made a tasty snack too.

However, Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 does not differentiate hemp from marijuana and those caught in possession of the substance can face serious fines, jail time and even the death penalty.

Planting Hemp in Perlis

According to Bernama, the research project had gotten the green light from the Raja Muda or Crowned Prince of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullai.

On the other hand, MyUS CEO, Datuk Nellsen Young said Perlis has the best climate and weather to cultivate the plant.

Nonetheless, Perlis is Malaysia’s smallest and most northern state and its has slightly different climate when compared to other places in Malaysia. Perlis has mostly flat topography and its location is close to the sea, making it a great place for cultivating crops. In addition, Perlis is also known as one of the country’s main producers of rice paddy.

Meanwhile, Nellsen said they are in the process of getting the government’s approval to import hemp seeds.

Previously, the Malaysian government has considered the idea of allowing cannabis cultivation for medical and research purposes, but with the condition that the researchers showed sufficient evidence on the effectiveness and safety of the substance is proven through formal government channels.

On the other hand, the Dangerous Drugs Act also state that approval can be given for the cultivation of cannabis for research, educational and medical purposes.

During the Pakatan Harapan Government ruling, there were plans to decriminalise drug possession for personal use to prevent the stigmatisation of addicts and reduce incarcerations. There were efforts to re-classifying the nation’s drug problems as a public health crisis and not a criminal problem.

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