Hi! Welcome to the 7th edition of Boomtown, our newsletter written and published every Friday at exactly 4:20 p.m. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. As of this writing, not only are we completely blazed out of our minds, we’ve also come to the mundane realization that we’re an odd 100 days away from the beginning of 2021. The names of the days, the dates no longer seem to matter, because after all, we only live once, and hence we ought to make decisions that will help ourselves and our immediate social circle make material and spiritual progress.
Let’s start blazing.
Where are the Men?
One of our female friends was kind enough to push us to write about this and here we are.
In the current furore in the Indian media about the film industry’s use of narcotic substances for recreational or medical purposes (a great surprise, really), where are the men?
Why is it that only the names of actresses are being pushed forth in the media, that too on national primetime TV? Why are the only the women being defamed, sometimes in the most sleaziest of ways (Many TV channels chose to play dance numbers and photoshoots where the actresses were wearing revealing clothing, while next to them images of cocaine and MDMA were shown), whose intent was only to sensationalise and cater to the misogyny loving, hysteria laden couch potato Indians who are dumb enough to believe them? How come only the private WhatsApp chats of the women are being accessed?
We shall remember everything and keep blazing.
The Crux of Indian Cannabis Entrepreneurship
Being a cannabis entrepreneur in India’s economy is no joke. It’s a very serious endeavor, we assure you.
On one hand, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropics Act, 1985 prohibits the use of the cannabis flower and resin, the two things required by recreational users, while on the other hand, the same act allows the use of cannabis leaves and seeds, the two things required by private companies to make medicines and nutritional products, including the use of India’s most famous intoxicating drink, Bhang.
Credit to them, many have risen to the challenge. If we were to name a few they would be: HempCann Solutions, Bombay Hemp Company, Himalayan Hemp, Health Horizons, B.E Hemp and so on and so forth, including the likes of SlimJim which has made strides in accessories related to cannabis. We’ll leave readers with just one takeaway.
What’re you waiting for?
Push your state governments and apply for research licenses and begin as soon as possible.
Let’s keep blazing.
Predicting The Indian Cannabis Roadmap
2020 has been a roller-coaster year for Indian cannabis and we still have an odd 100 days to go.
Here’s a brief timeline of the past 5 years of Indian cannabis:
- 2015: The first organised efforts to re-legalise cannabis in India appeared, with the holding of medical marijuana conferences in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi by the Great Legalisation Movement India.
- 2016: Odisha’s BJD Lok Sabha Member, Tathagatha Satpathy reveals that he used cannabis and also tables a bill in Parliament saying the criminalization of cannabis was pushing people towards harder drugs, a situation that India never had for as long as recreational cannabis was legal in India till 1985. ‘This is the first time that an Indian lawmaker showed courage to speak up for cannabis’ as per the Times of India.
- 2017: Viki Vaurora, the founder of the Great Legalization Movement writes to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Members of Parliament imploring a push for medical and industrial cannabis. A few months later, the PMO office complies and asks the Health ministry to act.
- 2018: New Delhi and Mumbai make their presence felt as one of the world’s top 10 cities for recreational cannabis consumption. Patanjali’s CEO, Acharya Balkrishna mentions publicly that Patanjali recognizes the value of using cannabis as a medicine and that 2000 years ago, Indian ancestors had penned it down in the Ayurveda, using cannabis in at least 191 medical formulations for acute and chronic illnesses.
- 2019: Madhya Pradesh’s Law Minister P.C Sharma went on record to state that the state government is exploring setting up an ecosystem for medical and industrial cannabis. Just a few months later, Manipur would echo the same thoughts.
- 2020: HempCann Solutions opened India’s first medical cannabis clinic in Bengaluru, while Bollywood Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death pushes calls for recreational cannabis’ legalization to an all time high in the Indian media. The United Nations will head for a vote in December to remove cannabis from its list of controlled substances and overturning its 1961 convention that listed cannabis as having no medical value.
We, at Marijuana Maharaj, are going to try and predict what will happen to Indian cannabis in the next five years, that is till 2025 from a regulatory point of view. Below is a list of our predictions. We’re going to see how many of them turn true and how many do not. But we’re not stressed about it.
- 2021: The furore in the India media with regards to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death is likely to die down and the Narcotics Control Bureau will step back and focus on what it must: synthetic and harder drugs. Meanwhile, Indian companies, HempCann Solutions, Bombay Hemp Company, HempStreet etc. will see competition from foreign players, especially from Canadian Indians who’re likely to lobby multiple state governments (like IndusCann in Madhya Pradesh and Akseera Pharma) to grant licenses to access both cannabis leaves and cannabis flowers. All this while, Research in government institutions like CIMAP, CSIR and IIIM for medical cannabis will continue.
- 2022: India’s high courts are likely to rule that prohibiting the cannabis flower from being used as medicine makes no sense, and this will give confidence to both the central and state governments to loosen their regulations and amend the NDPS Act, permitting companies access to the cannabis flower only for medical uses, opening up the export markets for the same.
- 2023: Large Ayurveda companies like Patanjali and Dabur will lobby the Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI) to include cannabis compounds like CBD as a part of novel foods and beverages, before entering the consumer market themselves.
- 2024: India will go for another Lok Sabha election and the legalization of recreational cannabis will be talked about, but not taken up because big pharmaceutical companies will not want this to happen. Rather, tobacco giant Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) will step up and lobby for using cannabis extracts in their cigarettes in limited quantities.
- 2025: An Indian state government will finally say enough is enough and permit the use of cannabis flower for recreational purposes. Maybe, Himachal Pradesh or Kerala, we have to see.
Let’s keep blazing ahead
Have a great weekend 🙂