Turkey looks to get back into the hemp game

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In Turkey, President Erdoğan is eyeing a return to industrial hemp production for the nation and has raised the issue of expanding cannabis planting during meetings with city governments.

Ahmet Atalık, head of the Istanbul Branch of Chamber of Agriculture Engineers, tells Daily Sabah that hemp is stronger than cotton and flax fiber and can be used in numerous industries. “Even for the printing of the government banknotes, a synthetic and durable cellulose is necessary, and this can be extracted from cannabis,” he said. “Thinner cannabis fibers are used in the textile industry for clothe making, particularly summer clothes. Cannabis oils are used in varnish, polishing and oil paint in addition to various cosmetic products. As a matter of fact, the giant cosmetics producer South Korea is one of the largest consumers and exporters of cannabis oils. The different and processed seeds of cannabis can also be used as forage.”

Once a major producer, Turkey only produced 7 tons of cannabis in 2018.