Pakistan is leaning towards cannabis cultivation as an economic transition

Sathia Kumar

A garden of cannabis in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

Pakistan is plagued by various crises. The country is looking for an economic transition. That is why they are inclined to grow cannabis. Pakistan is even creating a framework for cannabis trade. This information was informed in a report of Al Jazeera on Wednesday (08 May).

According to the report, Pakistan approved the use of Gaza for industrial purposes about four years ago. Currently, the country wants to take advantage of the developing market to increase its foreign exchange reserves. For this reason, Pakistan took the initiative to form a cannabis control and regulatory authority for the first time through a presidential order in February last year. Although the country approved the use of Gaza in 2020, internal complications stalled the move to form a regulatory authority.

A senior official of Special Investment Facility Authority said, we are very active with this initiative. Everything is moving at a very fast pace.

He said the new coalition government has set up regulatory authorities to set policies, license producers and sellers and specify cultivation areas. This department implements the government’s initiative to attract investment and transition the economy in the country.

According to a research institute in India, Pakistan is interested in accessing the global cannabis market and taking advantage of the favorable environment for production. The global market for cannabis in 2022 was $27.2 billion. In 2027, this market will grow to more than 82 billion dollars. The country is looking to increase export earnings and taxes to get International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other foreign loan assistance.

Gaza is open-air cultivated and sold along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Medicinal This plant is cultivated in North and West Pakistan. In the 1970s local Gaza shops were quite popular. But in the 1980s, military ruler General Ziaul Jock banned the use of Gaza.

The establishment of new regulatory authorities will increase the scope of medical use of cannabis. Besides, this tree is also used for rope, cloth, paper and construction materials.

The country has imposed a life sentence to curb the abuse of Gaza. Violation of this Act has been punishable with a fine of Rs 20 crore on companies and Rs 1 crore on individuals.

In 2022, Thailand became the first country in Asia to legalize cannabis. Since then, Gaza abuse has increased in the country. However, according to a Pakistani doctor, it is possible to prevent its abuse if the drug is sold from Gaza through prescription. He said, sales through prescription should be encouraged. The authorities should ensure this

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