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Minister: People in favour of cannabis cultivation

Minister: People in favour of cannabis cultivation

A committee of legislators holds a public meeting in Dharamsala. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Lalit Mohan

Dharamsala, June 13

A committee of legislators formed to seek public opinion regarding legalization of cannabis farming in Himachal is visiting Kangra and Chamba districts these days. The committee headed by Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi met various groups of people, including panchayat heads zila parishad members and others, in Chamba today.

Negi said that most of the people they had met in different parts of the state were in favour of allowing cannabis cultivation in the state for medicinal and industrial purposes. He added, “The committee members will be in Kangra and Chamba districts for another couple of days. After that they will visit Solan district and then Shimla district. It has already met various people in Kullu and Mandi districts over the issue and will soon submit its report to Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania.”

Many groups and startups have been demanding legalization of cannabis cultivation, especially hemp farming. Hemp is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial usage of its derived products. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items such as paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastic, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.

Srijan Sharma, a resident of Dharamsala, has launched a startup for online selling of hemp-based products. He said, “Hemp is generally associated with the production of charas. A few people know that its plant is very high in fiber and is used for manufacturing various products such as textiles, carry-bags, biodegradable plastic, oil and protein powder.”

Apurva Sheel, who also deals in hemp-based products, said that commercial cropping of hemp plants and the production of hemp-based products were already allowed in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Govt to formulate policy: Negi

  • The government will formulate a policy to bring cannabis cultivation under legal ambit after studying all aspects and considering the opinion of the people of the state
  • This was stated by Revenue, Horticulture and Tribal Development Minister Jagat Singh Negi, who is also the chairman of a special panel formed to study legal and scientific cultivation of cannabis in the state
  • The panel held a public dialogue with various stakeholders and panchayati raj representatives here on Tuesday, where MLAs and officers of the district were also present

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