A new program in Pakistan has led to the first legal cannabis crop. Recently harvested, this crop symbolizes another step forward in the quest for hemp to establish itself independently. The crop strives to step out from under the marijuana stigma and present itself as worthy.
While many countries are already legalizing hemp, each addition illustrates the potential the crop has for import and export.
The Pakistani cabinet approved the plan that would legalize hemp back in September of 2020. The Ministry for Science and Technology will issue grow licenses. The first crop harvested grew on campus at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University.
Growing hemp in Pakistan happens only under government control. This is because the country has struggled in the past. Illegal grow operations of a different sort take place within the northwest districts of the country. There, the illegal cultivation of poppies for opium and heroin still occurs. This has led to international smuggling issues.
By controlling hemp from the beginning, at the highest level, the Pakistani government is hoping to keep illegal activity in check. To date, hemp producers are legally establishing themselves in Jhelum, Peshawar, Chakwal, and Islamabad.
Arguing for profits
A driving force during discussions of the legalization of hemp in Pakistan was its profitability potential. The crop could help bring a very lucrative industry to the country. This would ensure that demand for products derived from hemp would make it worthwhile to grow it.
Hopes are that the legal growth of hemp crops will enable Pakistan to get their foot in the door of this multi-billion dollar, global industry.
Thinking beyond extracts
Although extracting cannabinoids from hemp is the main way farmers bring in profits when it comes to this particular plant, Pakistan is already thinking ahead to its many other uses.
The first crop contained four different varieties of hemp. Some will get used for CBD extraction, while others will go toward making textiles and paper. Hope is that hemp can become an alternative to cotton, which requires a higher level of work from both farmers and manufacturers.
The more international hemp goes the better
Even as individual countries break into the hemp industry, what’s promising is the international trade that can occur. Hemp grown in one country can get processed and sold in others. Countries just starting out can wait on setting up their own processors and rely on the established facilities of others. The potential for cooperation as each new country gets on its feet within the industry presents a level of camaraderie and cooperation not always seen.
Yes, competition is still tough, that’s just business. But, the willingness of those in the hemp industry to see it grow says something about the importance this crop can have on a global scale.
A worldly view on hemp
This sentiment of creating an international community in hemp is high on the list of priorities at Arbor Vita8. We’re already working with hemp growers and manufacturers in other countries. Partnerships are expanding business and allowing us to provide support where it’s necessary.
To learn more about AV8’s international business, and see how we can support you as a local hemp farmer or manufacturer, contact us today.