‘Cannabis cultivation to bolster Himachal’s economy: State Government forms committee
Shimla, April 18
The state government of Himachal Pradesh is considering the legalization of cannabis cultivation in order to boost the state’s economy. The Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, has instructed the formation of a committee to study the possibilities of legal cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes. The committee will visit sites of illegal cannabis cultivation in the state and submit a report within a month, which will be used to inform any future policy decisions.
Cannabis has a long history of cultivation, dating back 12,000 years, and is considered one of the oldest crops grown by humans. It has been used for medicinal, industrial, and recreational purposes throughout history. The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances recognizes cannabis as a source of biofuel, fiber, and high-quality oil.
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Currently, under the NDPS Act, states have the power to allow cannabis cultivation for medicinal use. However, the law restricts cultivation to hemp fiber or its seeds for horticultural use. Production for industrial purposes is legal in the country.
Despite the restrictions, cannabis cultivation has been secretly taking place in some areas. “Legalizing its cultivation will give growers greater control and exclusivity over their crops, as well as enable them to use the latest techniques without fear of breaking the law,” stated a State government spokesperson.
The Chief Minister sees the potential for cannabis cultivation to generate revenue for the state, as well as provide benefits to patients due to its medicinal properties and its use in the industrial sector. The government will consider formulating any policy or law regarding cannabis cultivation only after obtaining complete information regarding the use of hemp leaves and its seeds. The Chief Minister also emphasized the importance of regulatory measures before making any final decisions.
Several states in India, including Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, have legalized or allowed controlled cultivation of cannabis. Some European Union countries, such as Uruguay, Canada, the United States, Austria, Belgium, and the Czech Republic, have also legalized cannabis cultivation.
Legalizing cannabis cultivation in Himachal Pradesh has the potential to boost the state’s economy, as well as provide benefits to patients and the industrial sector. The state government’s committee will carefully consider all aspects related to cannabis cultivation before making any decisions, and will study the experiences of other states and countries that have legalized cannabis cultivation, concluded the State government spokesperson.