June 23, 2021



Himachal CM sees increase in legalising hemp cultivation


Shimla, March 6th (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Prime Minister Jai Ram Thakur predicts an economic upswing in the legalization of hemp cultivation as thousands of families depend on it.

In his household speech on Saturday, Thakur said, “Commercial hemp cultivation is permitted and regulated in many countries and in some states of India.”

“This creates investment and employment opportunities. The state government proposes to develop a policy that enables commercial hemp cultivation with an appropriate legal framework,” said Thakur, who also has a financial portfolio.

He presented a populist but deficit budget of 50,192 rupees for 2021-22 with no new taxes despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts told IANS that there is great demand for opium, a poppy seed extract widely used in the pharmaceutical industry in the high mountains of the state, mainly in the Kullu Valley.

They say that the selective cultivation of cannabis and poppies along the lines of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh could generate income of 800 to 900 rupees annually.

According to police officers, over 60 percent of the poppy seeds and cannabis produced in Himachal are smuggled into countries such as Israel, Italy, Holland and other European countries. The rest of them find their way to Nepal or to other Indian states such as Goa, Punjab and Delhi.

They say cannabis and poppy (opium) plants are illegally grown in large areas in Kullu, Mandi, Shimla and Chamba districts. Police records show that 50,000 acres of cannabis are grown in the Kullu Valley alone.

Lured by cheap hashish, the police admit that foreigners who have illegally settled in remote villages have been actively involved in drug smuggling. Their mission is to provide local growers with high-yield cannabis seeds for planting in various high-altitude areas.

Malana, a village in the Kullu Valley, has long been notorious for growing the valuable hashish “Malana Cream”, a purified resin extract made from cannabis.

Recently, the increasing involvement of Nepalese nationals in drug trafficking has been a cause for concern. They source cheap charas from Nepal and sell them in India in the name of ‘Malana Cream’.


vg / sdr /


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