Pakistan approves first industrial production of hemp

Pakistan legalizes hemp and CBD

The Pakistani government has approved industrial production of hemp, which could generate up to $ XNUMX billion in foreign exchange over the next three years, Science and Technology Minister Ch Fawad Hussain said on Wednesday.

A cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved a summary allowing for the first time legal production, Minister Fawad Chaudhry said at a press conference in Islamabad.

“We want this hemp market to be able to bring us around a billion dollars in the next three years,” he said, adding that the global market is around 25 billion dollars.

The summary seen by Reuters indicates that the ministry applied for permission to cultivate industrial hemp after deliberation by the ministries of commerce, narcotics control and national health services.

Hemp seeds produce hemp oil, while the leaf is used medicinally and the stalk can be made into fiber to replace cotton in the textile industry.

According to Chaudhry, the cannabidiol compound found in the hemp plant plays an important role in medical science and therapies aimed at alleviating severe and chronic pain that affects, for example, cancer patients or those who have lost limbs.

Around the world, companies are looking to tap the medical cannabis market.

The minister said cultivation of hemp - a strain of the cannabis plant that contains little or no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the substance that gets people high - will only be allowed under government control and the company should not be confused with poppy cultivation.

The lawless districts of northwest Pakistan along the Afghan border have been the scene of the illegal cultivation of poppies for opium and heroin and the production of cannabis, supplied to the local market of narcotics or smuggled abroad.

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