Hemp cultivation: Uttarakhand's plan to hand out licences to grow the plant is a welcome step for farmers' livelihood

Presently, most of the hemp used in textiles or for food is collected from the wild
The Economic Times (India)
December 20, 2015

Cannabis is growing wild in UttarakhandUttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat’s has announced that the state would encourage hemp cultivation and hand out licences to farmers. However, saying that Uttarakhand is the first state to legalise cannabis cultivation in India, is symptomatic of the misinformation there exists on cannabis and its regulation in the country. Uttarakhand has not ‘legalised’ hemp cultivation; growing hemp has always been legal under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. Sections 10 and 14 allow for the cultivation of cannabis for industrial, medicinal and scientific purposes, under the government’s watch. The size of the global hemp market is estimated at $800 million - $1 billion.