Industrial hemp is growing and thriving in the south of Iceland, specifically in Grímsnes, where the conditions for cultivating the plant seem to be ideal.
The cultivation and import of industrial hemp was approved by the Minister of Health earlier this year under the condition that the seeds may not be able to grow plants that contain more than 0.2% THC, the compound in cannabis that induces intoxication.
Kristinn Sæmundsson, a farmer in Grímsnes who has been growing industrial hemp this summer tells RÚV that the seeds he has sown in June have grown to almost two meters in height.
“And we have done absolutely nothing about it – we haven’t watered it or pulled up weeds or drilled; we used good old fashioned cow manure and urine and other things that have helped all this become/grow incredibly beautiful,” says Kristinn.
The plants will reportedly be picked up in the coming weeks, as there is apparently a lot of interest in the product and its different uses. Hemp can, for example, be used for building materials, clothing, sails, ropes or paper, offering an alternative to plastic for instance.
According to Kristinn, industrial hemp has been widely stigmatized, due to many people’s association of the plant to cannabis.
“I predict that Icelanders, like the rest of the world, will reconcile with the plant,” Kristinn says. “There’s going to be hemp fever in Iceland, with people gobbling up hemp protein and shakes.”
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