India’s cannabis hot-spot experiments with alternative livelihoods

The producers of the world's 'most expensive cannabis,' Malana Cream, are attempting to diversify, with mixed success
Asia Times
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

india cannabis himalayaAccording to the Institute for Narcotics Studies and Analysis (INSA), a Delhi-based think tank, Malana has 351 families involved in making hashish. They produce 400-500 kg of the drug annually. Between 2006 and 2010, several initiatives were launched by the government to encourage cannabis growers to switch to alternative cash crops. Kumar remembers them distributing pea seeds and lilium (a medicinal herb) plants. But both failed. “Many questioned the quality of seeds and environmental conditions for growing the crop,” says JC Sharma, managing director of the state’s Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation. He believes the perfect substitute for cannabis in Himachal lies in high-yield apple plantations.