For the pharma and hemp industry, a high demand of Cannabis is witnessed in countries like Canada, Israel and Malaysia who have this approached Himachal Pradesh. A demand for controlled cultivation has been gaining ground in the state.
Government's have decided to sit on the issue and take decisions cautiously for the same. Even in the past, it was rumoured that controlled cultivation would arise due to the increasing demand in the pharma sector.
The issue has now being actively discussed by ambassadors and high commissioners of many countries who show interest in high quality cannabis extract, which grows in abundance in Kullu, Mandi and other parts of the state. The quality of hemp in HP is better than that of Uttarakhand as per the diplomats.
Of course, to draw in economic investments, the state government has initiated interactions with representatives of almost 100 countries in Delhi ahead of the Global Investors Meet, which is going to be held at Dharamsala on November 8-9.
Sanjay Kundu, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister said "The demand to provide cannabis extract has come in from ambassadors of some countries, who claim that medicines prepared from it are beneficial for treating cancer and diabetes.”
"Police have been undertaking campaigns to destroy cannabis and poppy plants besides launching awareness campaigns, but that alone cannot contain the problem which is assuming alarming proportions,” as stated by SR Mardi, Director General of Police.
Public and political figures have extended their support to allow controlled cultivation for better economic returns, Kullu MLA Sunder Thakur was one of them. Until now, hemp has been traditionally used to make ropes, footwear and in local cuisines.
Thriving tourist destinations like Kullu-Manali, Dharamsala-McLeodganj and Shimla are emerging as major drug centres and smuggling, cultivation and trafficking is an established issue which has been difficult to combat despite multi-pronged strategies.
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