Cannabis or Hemp, while primarily used as a drug, with a lot of research is now being used for medicinal purposes. The general direction is changing to the benefits of the correct usage of Cannabis. The potential of production of this plant in Pakistan is vast. However, it was illegal until recently and thus had no system in place for taxes upon it.
In late 2021, the government decided to legalize Cannabis for medicinal purposes. It was highlighted by Minister Shibli Faraz that the Cannabis market globally was expected to reach Rs.95 billion by the year 2025. In the same meeting, it was decided that the cultivation of Cannabis would start in Rawat and that a particular program would be launched. The initiative called the Tech Tsunami Program that would guide the youth of Pakistan on the proper cultivation and correct usage of Cannabis.
The idea is to import the raw material from greenhouses, which would be located in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. Phase one of the Cannabis export would be tested with industrial usage and production. The medicinal production would be phase two.
The policies and implementation are said to start soon. In the meeting, it was also noted that STEM technology will also be introduced with this program. In schools and universities, STEM labs will be initiated, for which training will be provided to students.
Faraz, the Minister in charge of this meeting, said, ‘Ten major problems will be solved with the start of this program.’
With the start of the Policy implementation, the idea is to start exporting Cannabis worth $1.5-2 Billion within two years. “Worldwide, this fiber is replacing cotton clothes, bags, and other textile products are made using this plant’s fiber. This is a $25 billion market, and Pakistan can take a big share in this market” Fawad Chaudhry added.
All over the world, Cannabidiol (CBD) is taking over. People are using it for different reasons and in different ways. Another thing to consider is that in Pakistan, this product for a very long time has been used illegally. If taxes were to be imposed on it – it would help improve the economy. And also reduce the illegal trade of Cannabis to be used as drugs.
Do you think it is the right decision to legalize Cannabis? Let us know in the comment section.
Disclaimer: Cannabis or Hemp is also used as a drug. The government of Pakistan does not want to promote drug usage. Specific policies will ensure that people do not take this in the wrong direction. Drugs are harmful to physical and mental health and should be avoided at all costs.