Raul E. Injoque, PhD: Breaking Paradigms about cannabis: Opportunities and Challenges in Peru


By: Raul E. Injoque, PhD. President, Futura Farms Corp.


The Vikings conquered what is now the United Kingdom, Greenland, and parts of Europe thanks to their explorers and navigation technology, which allowed them to reach distant communities and surprise their inhabitants and defenses. They even reached North America long before Columbus. Similarly, the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and English succeeded in expanding their conquests to America, Africa, and Asia, achieving circumnavigation of the world and expanding the trade of their products to global markets. Apart from the ambition to discover new territories, these expeditions had something in common: the sails and ropes of their ships were made of hemp fiber.

Hemp, also known as hemp or industrial cannabis, has been an important part of civilizations. It is presumed to have been domesticated around 12,000 years before Christ in what is now Afghanistan. From there, it became a necessary companion during the migration of Homo sapiens around the world. It was so important during the colonization of South America that the Spanish established a hub in Chile to cultivate it, process it, and manufacture ropes and sails for the fleet in the region.

After many centuries of service to humanity, this crop fell into disgrace due to the belief that this plant produced a psychoactive substance that made people violent. This confusion led to the prohibition of its cultivation in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, and this prohibition was extended worldwide in 1961 by the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The reality is that there are indeed varieties of this plant that contain high levels of THC, the psychoactive substance that helps people relax; this variety is known as marijuana. However, the varieties used for fiber and food production have very low levels of THC and do not produce any psychoactive effects, but they offer important socioeconomic benefits.

Fast-forwarding to the present, we note that stock indices are increasingly adopting and demanding reports on sustainability variables in the value proposition. Businesses are being evaluated not only for their financial impacts but also for their environmental and social impacts. This is where hemp presents itself as an environmentally friendly productive resource with unprecedented economic and ecological potential.

Hemp is a versatile crop that thrives in sandy soils, consumes little water compared to other crops, and is affected by few pests. Its aggressive growth translates into high yields per hectare, making it one of the ideal plants for sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. Additionally, it produces oilseed with protein levels higher than quinoa, fiber, and cellulose, highly valuable for various industries such as paper, textiles, and packaging. These qualities make hemp an ideal crop to address global issues such as environmental pollution and the need for more sustainable material sources.

The paper and packaging industry benefits from hemp due to the high concentration of cellulose in its fiber. For example, it is used in the production of printing paper, packaging paper, wrapping paper, corrugated cardboard, label paper, and eco-friendly packaging and bags as an alternative to non-biodegradable plastic products. The cellulose currently used in the industry comes from forest sources that take years to harvest; hemp, on the other hand, grows in 4 months, making it an environmentally friendly and economically viable alternative, contributing to the reduction of deforestation and the promotion of a more sustainable industry.

Hemp fabric is strong, hypoallergenic, and naturally resistant to ultraviolet light, mold, and fungi. It can also be blended with cotton or linen to add elasticity and strength. Peruvian companies, such as WTS, are already exploring opportunities to export hemp products to North American and European markets.

The food market is another sector with interesting opportunities. Hemp seeds contain over 30% protein and about half their weight consists of highly nutritious omega oils, making them an important nutritional supplement.

Plastic pollution is a reality, especially in the oceans. Hemp can also play a crucial role in this regard since bioplastics, made from renewable sources such as hemp, are recyclable and biodegradable within months, offering a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastics. This could help significantly reduce the accumulation of plastic in landfills and oceans.

Hemp is making its way into other industries like civil construction. In the United States, they have just approved hempcrete, a material made from lime and hemp, as a building material. This mixture of woody hemp and lime is used to make bricks, insulation, and biocomponents, replacing synthetic and petrochemical materials

In the automotive industry, there is potential for the production of door panels and other impact structures, as they are lighter and more resistant, offering a more sustainable and lightweight alternative.

In conclusion, a new segment that is in development is that of graphene. Hemp also has the potential to impact battery manufacturing, a growing sector due to the rise of electric vehicles. The search for alternatives to lithium has led to the development of processes using hemp to produce graphene, a material with exceptional electrical properties. This advancement can help alleviate bottlenecks in battery production and promote more efficient electric vehicles.

In addition to its industrial applications, hemp can play an important role in remediating soils contaminated with heavy metals and capturing atmospheric carbon. In Paraguay, hemp cultivation is being used as part of a government strategy to promote family and indigenous agriculture, reduce pollution, and achieve a “carbon-neutral” status.

Despite its global significance, Peru lacks an adequate regulatory framework to work with hemp. However, recent developments in the Peruvian Congress could pave the way for an economic and ecological revolution based on hemp. Peru has ideal climatic and geographical conditions for its cultivation. Given its location in the southern hemisphere, it can triple productivity compared to what is achieved in the northern hemisphere, making South America an ideal region for hemp cultivation and exploitation.

In summary, hemp has the potential to revolutionize multiple industries in Peru, generating employment, tax revenues, and positive environmental impact. With the bills approved in the Peruvian Congress, it is time to seize this unique opportunity to establish a regulatory framework that allows this industry to flourish and contribute to the economic and ecological well-being of the country. Hemp could be the key to a more sustainable and prosperous future in Peru.”

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Author Bios

Matt Maurer – Minden Gross
Jeff Hergot – Wildboer Dellelce LLP

Costa Rica
Tim Morales – The Cannabis Industry Association Costa Rica

Elvin Rodríguez Fabilena


Julie Godard
Carl L Rowley -Thompson Coburn LLP

Jerry Chesler – Chesler Consulting

Ian Stewart – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Otis Felder – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Lance Rogers – Greenspoon Marder – San Diego
Jessica McElfresh -McElfresh Law – San Diego
Tracy Gallegos – Partner – Fox Rothschild

Adam Detsky – Knight Nicastro
Dave Rodman – Dave Rodman Law Group
Peter Fendel – CMR Real Estate Network
Nate Reed – CMR Real Estate Network

Matthew Ginder – Greenspoon Marder
David C. Kotler – Cohen Kotler

William Bogot – Fox Rothschild

Valerio Romano, Attorney – VGR Law Firm, PC

Neal Gidvani – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder
Phillip Silvestri – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder

Tracy Gallegos – Associate Fox Rothschild

New Jersey

Matthew G. Miller – MG Miller Intellectual Property Law LLC
Daniel T. McKillop – Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

New York
Gregory J. Ryan, Esq. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Tim Nolen Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Paul Loney & Kristie Cromwell – Loney Law Group
William Stewart – Half Baked Labs

Andrew B. Sacks – Managing Partner Sacks Weston Diamond
William Roark – Principal Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin
Joshua Horn – Partner Fox Rothschild

Washington DC
Teddy Eynon – Partner Fox Rothschild