On 30 October, the UP cabinet made the cultivation of Hemp legal for medicinal and industrial use. UP becomes the second state in India to legalize hemp cultivation. Last year, Uttarakhand legalized cannabis cultivation for industrial purposes.
The government will issue permits for growing cannabis with low levels of THC. Farmers from across the state can now legally grow hemp. While in countries like the US, many states have legalized the cultivation of cannabis for smoking purpose, in Uttar Pradesh the permission is only for industrial purpose. The government spokesperson said that many countries have been growing hemp for medical and industrial uses, and by allowing its cultivation the government can also help improve the average farmer’s financial situation.
As of 2017, around 36 countries were growing industrial hemp in accordance with rules and regulations of their respective governments. It is endorsed in fiber market by big names like Adidas, Nike, MERIDA, Assos, Rapha, Marcello Bergamo, Castelli etc. Hemp fiber accounted for 40.4% of the revenue in 2017 on account of high demand from the textile industry. The global industrial hemp market is booming and expected to reach USD 10.6 billion (₹ 77,000 Crores) by 2025, says a report by Grand View Research, Inc.
The policy to allow cultivation of non-narcotic cannabis was formulated in 1985 along with opium. However, hemp cultivation failed to take off in the country as proper procedures were not laid down for its cultivation, procurement, and use, unlike that in the case of legal opium. Although this is a small step, it is a small step in the right direction. We are finally beginning to realize the potential of cannabis. Hopefully, in a not so distant future, we’ll have legal top-shelf cannabis for smoking, but until then stay lit, be dank.
Psst, if what we’ve heard is correct, Himachal Pradesh may soon be legalizing cannabis cultivation as well.
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