Govt sets up Bhang authority to regulate hemp production

The Bhang and Hemp Authority would issue licenses to producers and farmers to produce cannabis for medical and industrial usage.

Ministry of Science and Technology has decided to form an authority to regulate and facilitate the farming and usage of hemp (Bhang) in the country.

The Bhang and Hemp Authority would issue licenses to producers and farmers to produce cannabis for medical and industrial usage. The license for bhang production would be valid for 15 years while producer will need to have at least 10 acres of land for cultivation.

The authority would issue five different kinds of licenses including industrial, medical, processing, research and development license. The special permit for exporting cannabis would be issued by the Department of Commerce.

It must be mentioned that the Ministry of Science and Technology would forward the policy to the federal cabinet for approval. The authority board of governors will have representatives from six ministries and provincial chief secretaries.

Anti-Narcotics Force would look into the security protocols of cannabis cultivation and planting standards. The ANF will also remain vigilant about the import of seeds and transportation of the products.

In December 2021, the PTI government formulated Pakistan’s first hemp policy for the cultivation of Bhang for medicinal and industrial use. The National Hemp Policy had proposed setting up a regulatory authority to facilitate investors.

Shibli Faraz, who was then Science and Technology Minister, said that the government was receiving numerous applications for the cultivation of hemp leaves. In the first phase, he added that 100 firms will be given licenses for the purpose.

He had said the hemp policy has been formulated in consultation with all the stakeholders, including the education, commerce and anti-narcotics ministries.

This news was originally published by BOL News.