Thorough research needed before making decision on industrial hemp, says Jeffrey Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: There is a chance for industrial hemp exploration in Sabah but thorough research on this must be conducted before anything is decided, said Deputy Chief Minister II Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic).

In his winding up speech at the state Assembly meeting late Wednesday (Dec 8), he said the components under industrial hemp such as cannabis and marijuana are illegal for growth in the country.

He said any forms of activity relating to these substances or materials be it for import, export or plantation is prohibited under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (Ordinance No.30 1952).

“Therefore, we need in-depth research on these matters with collaboration from various parties and stakeholders before an exploration into industrial hemp is even considered,” Kitingan said.

“But there is hope,” added the Agriculture and Food Industries Minister.

Earlier, he said the Federal budget allocated for the various issues faced in Sabah including flood mitigation and water woes, were insufficient, hence the need for the state government to source for funds on its own.

Kitingan said private funding initiatives such as the proposed Nature Conservation Agreement for carbon trading was needed, so that the state can generate its own income and to fund for development projects in Sabah without having to depend solely on federal allocations.

Apart from these, he also answered questions raised on food and agriculture related matters, which included efforts taken by the government to assist farmers and fishermen burdened by the increasing costs of planting materials like fertilisers, licensing, food security and water supply.

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