1. Regulation of Industrial Hemp in Pakistan:
Regulation of Industrial Hemp in Pakistan. Cannabis sativa, a plant species, is the source of industrial hemp used worldwide to make a range of commercial and consumer interests. More than 30 countries cultivate hemp, which is a source of fiber and an oilseed. Strong weather resistance characterizes industrial hemp. Its production requires no pesticides, making it both safe and environmentally friendly. It may also be produced in large quantities on small land and uses less water than cotton.
The visual resemblance of vastly diverse plant kinds is the basis for the confusion between industrial hemp and marijuana. Industrial hemp is, by definition, high in fiber and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes some cannabis strains a valuable narcotic.
The Pakistani government legalized industrial hemp production in September 2020, making it legal and permitting hemp farming in agricultural sectors. This historic decision opens up tremendous opportunities for many regions in Pakistan, especially in light of the numerous advantages of growing hemp. Bringing industrial hemp cultivation into the legal sphere should boost Pakistan’s economy, which has long needed a boost.
Judicial scrutiny has been launched into the term “hemp.” Cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, extraction, preparation, preparation for use, distribution, sale, purchase, and offer for sale are prohibited under Pakistan’s Control of Narcotics Substance Act of 1997. However, its cultivation is permitted for medical, scientific, or industrial purposes with authorization from the provincial or federal authorities. If found in violation of those mentioned above, it is punished by up to seven years in prison, a fine, or both.
2. Uses of Industrial Hemp:
The chemical cannabidiol (CBD) found in hemp, especially, has been highlighted for its many therapeutic qualities. Since the cannabinoid ingredient in cannabis is thought to control hunger, mood, memory inflammation, insulin sensitivity, and metabolism, in addition to relieving pain, it is seen as having positive medical effects. Incorporating hemp into gluten-free products increases the nutritional value of the food by utilizing the high levels of fiber and proteins found in hemp. Hemp seeds yield hemp oil, while the leaf and stem can be processed into fiber to replace cotton in the textile industry and for medicinal purposes.
Government officials promoted the legalization and production of hemp to reduce Pakistan’s budget depletion and suffering economy. Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s minister of science and technology claims that the country wants to profit $1 billion over the next three years by entering the $25 billion global industrial hemp industry. When the cotton sector is experiencing slowdowns, industrial hemp exports may be a viable alternative to cotton for CBD oils and cannabis-based products.
4. Future of Industrial Hemp in Pakistan:
In joining China, the US, and India as new CBD exporters, Pakistan now has the opportunity to earn millions of dollars from CBD exports. Numerous opportunities are made possible by Pakistan’s industrial hemp, which also creates thousands of jobs in various industries, including farming, production, marketing, transportation, research, and medicine. Hemp is a versatile crop that can meet various needs, including textiles, apparel, home furnishings, industrial oils, cosmetics, food, and medicine. With a global market worth more than $340 billion and 263 million industrial hemp users, Pakistan’s economy could significantly change due to the recently legalized industrial hemp production.
Jazib Javed & Usman Ullah
University of Agriculture Faisalabad
Department: Plant Breeding and Genetics