Himachal Pradesh Inches Closer To Permitting Cannabis Cultivation
Himachal Pradesh is the northernmost state of India. Host to the Dalai Lama, it is known for its scenic towns and resorts and is the second largest producer of apples in India only behind Kashmir. Soon, farmers will likely get the chance to cultivate a new crop – cannabis hemp.
India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 prohibits cannabis. However, individual states in India have set their own cannabis policies in some cases, and lawmakers in Himachal Pradesh are in the process of legalizing hemp production. Hemp cannabis, from a legal standpoint, is distinguished from what is considered to be non-hemp cannabis by a THC-content threshold.
The THC threshold for what constitutes hemp and what does not varies around the world, typically within the range of .2-1%. Comparatively, THC in cannabis products widely sold in countries like Uruguay, Canada, and the United States ranges from 15-30%+.
Still, what is being pursued in India is still significant for local farmers who are looking to cultivate a new crop. Per excerpts from The Hindu:
A committee comprising lawmakers that explored the possibility of legal cultivation of cannabis has recently recommended cultivation of ‘non-narcotic use of cannabis for medicinal, industrial, and scientific use’.
An approval from the State Cabinet is awaited after which a policy is expected to be framed soon by the State government on cannabis cultivation keeping in view the provisions of NDPS Act, 1985, and NDPS Rules, 1989.
Unfortunately, the previously cited article dedicates a considerable amount of time to discussing unfounded ‘concerns’ about the reform being pursued. What lawmakers are pursuing is the legalization of low-THC, high-CBD industrial hemp, sometimes referred to as ‘floral hemp’ or ‘cannabis light.’
Numerous peer-reviewed studies on our website demonstrate that regulated CBD products are safe, and a study we published earlier this month found that inhaled floral hemp doesn’t negatively impact driving performance. It’s a largely benign substance that people should not be concerned about and that the farmers of Himachal Pradesh should absolutely be permitted to cultivate.