It was only last year that India handed out the first-ever license to grow and study the medicinal properties of cannabis was granted to the Council of Scientific and Medical Research (CSIR), in partnership with Mumbai-based firm, The Bombay Hemp Company. The research aims to study the many purposes medicinal marijuana could serve in the treatment of epilepsy and cancer — a notion often contested globally. Co-founder of The Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO), Avnish Pandya, stated specifically, “It won’t be raw cannabis; it will be an actual product in the form of extracts, pills and patches.”
Now, Patanjali, a popular FMCG company in India, known for their mineral and herbal products, is pushing for the same in India. Acharya Balkrishna, CEO of Patanjali, has voiced his opinion on the matter before, noting that by criminalizing marijuana, the nation was being denied ‘a full-fledged business opportunity’. He went on to list how the seeds of the plant were useful, the fibre could be used for clothes and so on; the only issue is with the toxic part known as THC — Tetrahydrocannabinol, the element inducing the high often experienced due to consumption of marijuana.
In an interview with Quartz, Acharya Balkrishna stated that Patanjali already had a team of 200 scientists researching the benefits of multiple Indian plant species; including cannabis. He believes that Patanjali could potentially help Indian farmers once the industrial use of marijuana grows exponentially (and legally). Perhaps with the increased interest from major players within India’s commercial industry, we could see a strengthened nudge towards the decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal use.
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