Hemp has the potential to make Scotland’s agricultural sector carbon neutral and provide “enormous” economic benefits, according to a new report.
Scientists say hemp has many uses, including offsetting carbon dioxide, as a food, and as an environmentally friendly fertilizer and pesticide.
It is currently used in building materials, as biofuel, textile fabric and even as an alternative to plastic.
The Rowett Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) report from the University of Aberdeen and the Scottish Agricultural Organization Society analyzed the hemp seed and fiber supply chain in Scotland using data collected from of farmers in the North East of Scotland.
The authors of the report found that the supply chain for hemp grown in Scotland is underdeveloped – they also note that the supply chain is exposed to strict legislation and a lack of technical support and investment.
They suggest that hemp could also be used as a crop for carbon credits.
The author of the joint report, Dr Wisdom Dogbe of the Rowett Institute, said: “We know that global production of industrial hemp has been in decline since the 1960s due to an unfavorable political climate regarding cultivation and use of culture as well as legislation.
“However, the auxiliary plant has the potential to be a profitable, carbon-neutral and environmentally friendly crop for farmers.”
Yesterday Downing Street said the Prime Minister had no plans to classify cannabis as a Class A drug after it was reported that Home Secretary Suella Braverman was open to the idea .