Pakistan plans to import a specific variety of cannabis seeds to begin research on its industrial and medical use to tap into the $25 billion cannabidiol (CBD) market. The science and technology minister, Fawad Chaudhry said that hemp seeds are used for producing oil, leaves for developing medication, while stems are used for fibers which are gradually replacing cotton in the textile industry.
The hemp project is part of the Science Ministry’s larger initiative on precision agriculture, in which niche projects focused on non-traditional agriculture are under development. One of them, for industrial and medical use of hemp, was approved by the government on Tuesday. Hemp is used to extract cannabidiol (CBD) that is widely used for therapeutic purposes, reported foreign media.
Flanked by three specialists heading the hemp project, he clarified that the plant Pakistan plans to grow contains legal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — around 0.3 percent or below. At higher levels, THC is intoxicating and illegal in much of the world.
He expects the hemp market to generate $1 billion in revenue for Pakistan in next three years, when research, cultivation, production, and exports for medical and industrial purposes are underway. The ministry has scouted areas in the Potohar region in northern Punjab, which is considered adequate for growing hemp due its climate.
Source: The News