During the recently held budget session in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced that cultivation of cannabis can become a source of income in the state if there are stringent laws to monitor the same. Hence, he says that the state government is coming up with a policy to allow controlled cultivation of hemp or cannabis in the state. If this happens, they will be following in the footsteps of Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh that have already legalised production of cannabis for economic growth.
People from across the world head to the hills to experience a different ‘life’. One of the reasons has been the natural growth of many indigenous varieties of cannabis. In the Himalayan region, these varieties grow freely as a weed to resemble lush mountains. However, Himachal Pradesh has failed in to tap on this ‘green gold’ and in their efforts to control the charas mafia syndicating supply to other states as well as some other countries.
With the production of cannabis, Himachal Pradesh could be looking at earnings of ₹18,000 crore annually. This would prove beneficial for a state that is reeling under a debt of close to ₹60,500 crore in the Covid-19 pandemic year. Addition of cannabis cultivation as an industry will also generate job opportunities in the state.
- Improve economic Strength of Himachal Pradesh
- Create job opportunities
- Cultivate under stringent laws
- Use of cannabis will be regulated
Industrial uses of Cannabis
Many parts of Himachal Pradesh traditionally produced goods made of hemp fibre — slippers, ropes, pen, mats, baskets, etc. Growth of Hemp serves as an important backbone for Himachal’s economy since most other crops cannot survive in high altitude regions. Cannabis or bhang, on the other hand, is a hardy and reliable crop. It can withstand low temperatures and low precipitation. The government wants to legalise commercial cultivation of the plant for non-recreational uses as below.
Why legalise Cannabis cultivation?
Hemp cultivation is considered to be the gold in China and the United States of America. The fact that it is biodegradable and eco-friendly has also led to several big names in the fibre market to endorse hemp production. Major brands such as Nike, Adidas, Capo, Assos and Rapha have
The state, for long had believed that legalising cultivation would make things worse, especially for the youth. But, looking at the booming cannabis market, the legislatives are now encouraging the production of hemp for industrial purposes. This will not only help in strengthening the state’s economy but also help in generating employment. Also, the state government is falling under a great debt due to the pandemic, and allowing industrial cultivation of cannabis will make the state economically self-reliant.
Do you think legalizing cannabis will help the government achieve its goal ow will it prove dangerous for the future of the youths of the state? Let us know your views in the comment section.