A cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, approved a statement allowing the legal production of hemp, a cannabis plant variety, for the first time.
This was stated by the Minister of Research and Technology (Menristek) of Pakistan, Fawad Chaudhry in a press conference in the capital city of Islamabad.
The statement seen by Reuters news agency said Pakistan’s Ministry of Research and Technology requested permission to cultivate industrial hemp, after deliberations with the Ministry of Trade, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), and the National Health Service.
The move comes as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government struggles to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves which have been drained by economic hardship, fiscal deficits, and inflation.
“The hemp market could provide Pakistan with about US $ 1 billion (more than IDR 14 trillion) in foreign exchange in the next three years. Therefore, we are in the process of making a full plan,” Pakistan’s Research and Technology Minister, Fawad Chaudhry, told reporters. AFP.
Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that contains cannabidiol (CBD) which proponents say has many medicinal and relaxing properties.
Reported by Reuters, flaxseed produces hemp oil, while the leaves are used as medicine.
Not only that, but Jute stalks can also be turned into fibers to replace cotton in the textile industry.
Chaudhry said the cannabidiol compounds found in the flax plant have an important role in medical science and therapy in reducing severe and chronic pain that affects the body, for example for cancer patients or those who have lost limbs.
Since a long time ago, Rami has been used for medical purposes
For a first step, the country’s government will control hemp production, Chaudry said, but private businesses and farmers will be allowed into this market at a later date.
In conservative Pakistan, where alcohol consumption is strictly forbidden for Muslims, many people openly use cannabis as a preferred variant of the drug.
Flax grows almost like a weed in parts of Pakistan – including in large numbers in the capital, where large bushes can be seen growing in traffic circles.