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Mongolia’s Hemp Exports Poised for Big Things

Mongolia’s hemp producers are ready for action as demand for medicinal cannabinoids grows throughout Asia and the world.




THE POPULARITY of hemp cultivation in Mongolia is steadily growing. The landlocked Asian nation, sandwiched between Russia and China and famously the birthplace of Genghis Khan, has been on hemp industry observers’ radar for years. Now some leading Mongolian agriculture analysts say the conditions are ripe for a massive wave of hemp cultivation even as all forms of THC+ cannabis remain strictly illegal in the country.

The cannabis sativa native to the country’s dry, windswept deserts and steppes is believed by some to have originated in Southern Siberia and Mongolia itself. Other plant historians theorize that strains cultivated in the area may have been introduced by the nomadic Scythians millennia ago.

Currently, there is only one company in Mongolia growing hemp on a commercial basis. Hemp Mongolia began cultivating THC- cannabis Mongolia’s nascent hemp cultivation industry may be poised for massive expansion as demand for medicinal cannabinoids grows throughout Asia and the world. BY EUGENE GERDEN EYES ON MONGOLIA about a decade ago within the legal licensing framework of the country. But as a potential export market heats up with demand for CBD and other hemp derivatives rising throughout Asia, more local agriculture companies are looking to expand into hemp. The possibility of direct support to the industry from the Mongolian government is another incentive.

Hemp Pioneers

Hemp Mongolia actively grows hemp on several hectares and has long-term plans to develop “around 15,000 additional hectares [34,000 acres] of wild hemp fauna of prime genetically unmodifi ed strains of both hemp and cannabis seeds,” according to the Ulaanbaatar-based company.

In the nearer term, Hemp Mongolia aims to lease up to 5,000 hectares of land in Eastern Mongolia to signifi cantly ramp up cultivation. The company also plans to get into manufacturing—it’s building an extraction plant for CBD and other hemp-derived medicinal cannabinoids.

Hemp Mongolia co-founders Anar Artur, Munkhbayar Nyam-Ochir and Tungalag Tamir envision nothing less than a Central Asian “hemp corridor.” CEO Anar says: “We’re building a model to attract investors so we can accelerate production and help Mongolia develop one of the most advanced agricultural economies in Central Asia.”

Hemp Pioneers

Hemp grows wild in 18 of Mongolia’s 21 provinces, according to Mongolian Ministry of Agriculture data. Eastern Mongolia’s climate and soil conditions are particularly good for the plant— wild varieties include sub-species introduced to the country during the Soviet era and native Mongolian varietals. But relatively short outdoor growing seasons and aridness in much of the country could limit where commercial hemp is grown.

In modern times, hemp was fi rst planted in Mongolia on a wide scale during World War II for military purposes. In 1985, the country’s Institute of Agriculture began conducting research on the cultivation of hemp for textiles. Cannabinoid extraction is the latest in a long line of hemp-growing purposes. In addition to export prospects, the Mongolian government is reportedly interested in subsidizing hemp cultivation due to the plant’s ability to restore soil conditions.

Eugene Gerden is an international freelance writer who specializes in covering agriculture and the global hemp industry.



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