Cannabis Legalization: Why India Needs to Capitalize the Billionaire Dollar Crop in its Backyard

If you are wondering – are we out of our minds? Absolutely not!

learn more about Vanita D'souza

By Vanita D'souza


You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Cannabis is a crazy topic to touch upon. Some frown on it and look at it merely as narcotic drug ruining lives. While others have nice "happy high' as they start tripping over the mental state of bliss.

The crop was not always illegal in India. In the 1980s, under the pressure of western countries, India had to consider its status on cannabis and ban the herb.

Presently, according to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act's trade and consumption of cannabis' resin (charas) and the bud (ganja) is considered illegal.

Having said, cannabis is more than just so-called narcotic drug. Apart transcending mankind since eternity, the plant has more than 30,000 uses to it and researchers are working to see how it could solve the cancer epidemic along with other health issues.

What's what?

Before we tell you why cannabis is the best thing that happened to mankind, let's us explain what makes the plant so valuable.

There are mainly two varieties of cannabis out there in our backyard – the infamous marijuana and another lesser-known herb hemp.

What makes these varieties stand wide apart is its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level - the psychoactive ingredient which adds value to weed (cannabis bud) or hash (cannabis resins). The THC traces in marijuana is between 3-30 per cent, whereas, in hemp, the level of the narcotic ingredient is less than 3 per cent.

However, there is a blanket ban on both marijuana and hemp production in India. Additionally, considering cannabis is state-related matter, farmers need a license to cultivate cannabis and very few research organizations have obtained it.

Why Should India Legalize Cannabis?

With countries like Canada legalizing cannabis and US states' allowing medical uses, according to industry estimates Cannabis sales could touch $15 billion in 2019 globally and in another 10 years, the market could be worth $ 60 billion.

If India decides to legalize cannabis, the country will not just tap this opportunity but also find solutions to the agrarian crisis while creating jobs and increasing its revenue.

Grand View Research, in its report, notes the legalization of medicinal marijuana and decriminalization in some countries has led to a significant decrease in the black market, as people are resorting to legally purchasing cannabis for medicinal as well as recreational use.

"Moreover, government earnings through taxation is further viewed as an opportunity for countries to earn revenues. Presence of a large customer pool and legalization of medical marijuana in the U.S. and Canada is expected to propel the product demand from North America," the report added.

Editor's Note:

To learn how India can unlock the cannabis opportunity join us at the Entrepreneur India conclave, which is the flagship annual event of Entrepreneur Media.

It is the final destination for entrepreneurs, investors, disruptors and innovators where they discuss, debate and dissects what the future holds in a vibrant atmosphere. In it's Ninth Edition, Entrepreneur Media brings together the Movers and Shakers of India and Asia Pacific.

Vanita D'souza

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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