• Jinal Inamdar

Himachal On Its Way To Legalising Cannabis Cultivation

The pandemic has managed to send big jolts to many sectors of the economy, all across the state. To revive from the loss, states have taken up different measures. One such measure is the cultivation of Cannabis in Himachal, for strictly medicinal purposes.

The decision is driven by a massive debt of ₹60,500 crores caused by the pandemic. Legalising cannabis cultivation in the state is expected to fetch revenue worth ₹18,000 crores, as announced by Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur.

The CM also clarified that any such cultivation would be in a controlled manner and would strictly be for medicinal, industrial and other such purposes. The decision has been taken after almost two years of mulling over it.

As per estimates and reports, the decision would lead to

- An additional 50,000 jobs in the state

- Benefit 2.8 lakh families

After India banned the cultivation of cannabis in 1985 in accordance with the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Uttarakhand became the first state in the country to cultivate it. The NDPS Act allows state governments to legalize cannabis cultivation in a controlled and regulated manner for industrial and horticultural purposes.

Hemp is commonly used in a number of dishes and items such as ropes, mats, footwear, clothes in Himachal, but this would be the first time that the cultivation of cannabis would be undertaken 'legally'. The state is already infamous for its production of Malana Cream, a hash resin that attracts a number of tourists but cannot be sold off legally.

While the state's new decision will not authorize recreational purposes, it can definitely bring in the much-needed boost to the state that has suffered much in the pandemic.

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