On Tuesday, Pakistan ‘s minister for science and technology Fawad Chaudhr, in a tweet, confirmed that the cabinet had passed commercialization and domestication of both industrial and medical hemp. The approval falls under the government ‘s precision agriculture under high-technology farms initiative.
After the minister’s tweet, he confirmed the cabinet approval in an Islamabad press conference the following day. The minister confirmed that the decision to approve the legalization of hemp in Pakistan was in a meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also said that his ministry had already sought permission from the ministries of commerce, narcotics control and national health services.
During the Wednesday press conference, Fawad Chaudhr reiterated that the country would plant a select type of hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC. The regulation is similar to what is seen in many states where it has been legalized. THC is the cannabis compound responsible for the cannabis plant’s intoxicating properties.
The minister also acknowledged the fast-growing hemp industry across the world. He confirmed that the Pakistan government would aim to bring in more than $1 billion in revenue over the next three years from the crop alone.
Hemp plants are used in a plethora of ways. The most commonly used is for extracting cannabidiol popularly known as CBD. The compound has, in recent years, shown massive potential in providing therapeutic benefits to its users. Other uses of hemp are for making fiber. The plant produces robust fiber that can be used industrially in different industries like motor vehicle assembly.
The Pakistan government confirmed that growing conditions in North Punjab are right for hemp farming. For now, the cultivation of hemp will be under the government as more research and safety guidelines fall into place.