Pakistan has unveiled plans to allow the industrial production of hemp, spurring hopes farmers and businesses in the conservative Islamic country will be able to tap into the lucrative global cannabis market.
The move comes as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government struggles to boost the country’s foreign exchange coffers that have been drained by a struggling economy, fiscal deficits and inflation.
“This hemp market could provide Pakistan with some $1 billion in the next three years and we are in a process of making a full-fledged plan for this purpose,” science and technology minister Fawad Chaudhry told reporters Wednesday.
Hemp is a type of cannabis plant containing cannabidiol (CBD) which advocates say has numerous medicinal and relaxing properties.
It does not contain signficant quantities of high-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Chaudhry said the industrial hemp market was worth some $25 billion globally and several countries were relaxing laws targeting cannabis-based…