The Federal Cabinet of Pakistan has agreed to allow medical cannabis and industrial hemp in order to benefit from industry revenue.
According to a Tweet released on September 1 by Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the first license has already been approved. “Cabinet has approved first License for @MinistryofST and PCSIR for industrial and medical use of Hemp, landmark decision ll place Pakistan in billions of USD CBD market…..” the Tweet reads. In a press briefing, Chaudhry also noted how other countries have been successful in harnessing cannabis for numerous uses that are not related to recreational consumption. “CBD compound plays an important role in therapeutic medicine. After 2016, breakthrough research was unveiled which prompted China to set up a cannabis research department and is now cultivating hemp on 40,000 acres, and Canada is cultivating it on 100,000 acres,” he told reporters in a statement, according to Hindustan Times.
This landmark move took much deliberation with the requirement that Pakistan will import very specific cannabis seeds, which must produce plants that remain below a 0.3 percent THC threshold. Chaudhry also described the well-known facts of cannabis to the press, including how it has many uses as a cotton fiber replacement to make textile products. However, he does note that the allowance of cannabis will be limited because “this is under government control, so further research can be done and adequate safeguards through ministry of narcotics can be placed.”
Chaudhry estimates that the hemp market could generate up to $1 billion in revenue within the next three years.
Pakistan does not allow cannabis access for consumers at this time, and there is no regulatory framework that allows any citizens to obtain it. However, with the foundation soon to be in place, Pakistan eventually provide its people access to medical cannabis in the future.