By / August 14, 2019

Waiting under the sun: The irony of Portuguese hemp

Miguel Negrão studied hotel management at the International University of Portugal and works regularly as an industrial property consultant. Miguel owns a small farm where he grew hemp last year and uses it for Hempcrete.

He is the co-founder of Lusicanna, a cooperative of hemp producers. Also, he is the president of CannaCasa, Associação do Cânhamo Industrial. His current objective in the hemp business is to see the growth of the industry in Portugal.

Miguel is cheerful, grateful and determined. Recently, Miguel launched a hempcrete workshop while building a prototype with legends prominent in businesses such as Wolf Jordan, Carl Martel, and others.

Portugal has a long history of hemp. Do the laws in force in Portugal allow businesses to flourish?

MN: Indeed! Portugal and hemp are connected ever since. Our sails and ropes in Portuguese caravels, when we discovered Brazil and half the world by sea, were from pure hemp.

The hemp industry in Portugal is facing uncertainty. (Source)

Portugal never had a law banning hemp sowing. For this year alone, hemp producers are not allowed to certify their seeds with the Ministry of Agriculture. A new law is being prepared since last year, but one of the main stakeholders, we farmers, were never heard about the creation of the new law.

What has been your experience in dealing with prohibition and stigma?

MN: Strangely, in the year in which Portugal legalized medical cannabis cultivation, with large foreign companies already producing here, no new hemp crops were certified. Regardless of the countless contacts of the farmers and Hemp organizations, they never listened to us or received us. These have been very frustrating times!

My response was to start CannaCasa, Associação do Cânhamo Industrial to educate people, raise awareness about hemp and its more than 25,000 applications, its potential for the Portuguese economy and at the same time attract investors and more farmers to develop a strong hemp industry in Portugal.

Building hemp all over the world is a challenge in itself. Please tell us about this last workshop experience.

MN: It was an incredible experience. I’m really focused on building with Hempcrete in Portugal. Wolf Jordan and Carl Martel’s apprenticeship was priceless, building and storing energy based on hemp.

This was the first of many that we have in mind with CannaCasa, many people contacted us for more dates. It’s amazing when you see the interest in this construction method.

hemp field
Portugal has a long history of hemp. (Source)

CannaCasa has several projects, including creating a hempcrete school farm.

What advantages does Portugal offer the hemp industry?

MN: At this point, there is some concern about the future of the industry, as we do not know the new law.

Portugal is the country with the most exposure to the sun and the best climate in Europe to grow Hemp. Along with the cost of land in some areas, are the conditions that are attracting much interest from foreigners to our country.

Portugal also has strong textile, paper, construction/cement and plastic industries. That could probably easily be converted to the production of hemp products.

(Featured Image by Free-Photos)

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