Scoring a Bureaucratic Showdown with MS Dhoni

The Kush

Hi! Welcome to the 23rd edition of The Kush, our newsletter written specifically for Mondays and Tuesdays. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. It is time to begin another week, having entered the month of the Scorpions. For far too long, we’ve found ourselves in a loop of habits that seemingly had only one purpose: passive consumption. We simply didn’t know, or rather we lacked a structure or a framework within which to think about our world today. 

It was time to start blazing. 

The Unregulated Economy

Our friends, acquaintances and colleagues alike are currently on the lookout for a good deal with regards to buying cannabis in its flower-bud form, the ones harvested at the right time and properly dried. We’re quite familiar about the inefficiencies riddled in this system, the first of which is: consistency of product quality. Not only is product consistency virtually non-existent, the features of an unregulated economy include the fact that there is always a possibility of adulteration. 

Both these inefficiencies are quite familiar to other consumer markets. 

Take for instance, milk. India produces approximately 20% of the world’s milk. Easily the highest. Yet, we’ve adulterated milk in the Indian market reaching consumers. Our point is that if approximately 31 million people (as per a 2019 government report) are consuming cannabis and its derivatives from the unregulated market doesn’t it mean that it’s the adulterants in cannabis which are causing ‘problems’ with respect to the so-called ‘harms’ caused by cannabis? The fact of the matter is that it’s the adulterants and not the cannabis itself that’s causing these ‘harms’. Lack of standards in an unregulated market mean that the quality of the cannabis plant is compromised right from the grower who may for example end up using pesticide on his cannabis crop along with existing crops. 

If alcohol can be regulated right from the plant cultivation stage, why cannot cannabis? 

Future recreational cannabis companies looking at India in hope, will have to keep waiting. 

We’ve to wait for the government ministries to take their time and consider all the implications of recommending reforms in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropics Act, especially the one pertaining to open up the scope of research for private companies looking to get access to the entire cannabis plant, instead of the current restrictions that’re placed upon it. Once done, it’ll probably catch the attention of the Food Standards and Safety organization of India who’ll then start studying the low-THC cousin of cannabis – ‘hemp’. The NDPS Act says that cannabis and hemp are the same. No difference. 

The FSSAI will then make deliberations as to whether CBD and non-THC cannabinoids can even be considered acceptable for use in foods and beverages, since they’re present in the same plant that also produces THC. We’re predicting that they’ll probably impose a framework whereby companies will need to ‘prove’ that their products absolutely have 0% THC, not even one molecule of it. But then, the whole scene is about licensed cultivation for which first, the Excise ministry will have to sit down with the Narcotics Control Bureau, the showdown being who would propose what? 

Let’s keep blazing till then. 

The Indian Retail Showdown

The media is projecting the Indian retail market’s ‘future’ as a face-off between two men, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. They have conveniently forgotten to include Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well – as one of the faces in this showdown if it was correct to depict two giant conglomerates’ fate via the actions of just two people. Of course, we’re all now too used to seeing ‘battles’ as a showdown of the ‘leaders’ only.  

Let’s keep blazing

Black Lives Matter in the IPL

The same media had also talked about cricketer Hardik Pandya becoming the ‘first IPL cricketer’ to show his allegiance to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement that began in the USA. However what about the fact that when it comes to India, where movements like ‘Women Lives Matter’ or ‘Dalit Lives Matter’ haven’t exactly been taken stands at by Indian sportsmen and women, and yes, taking anothing away from the Black Lives Matter, that matters, but more for the USA than India where such where minority issues and lives are more or less the same archaic, old mentalities and mental structures in play. 

However it’s not the athletes’ fault. 

The possibilities of their careers being played in the future isn’t something they want to consider. But what if someone like a MS Dhoni? Can a cricketer of his stature manage to take a stand for minority rights in India, and also be politically safe? If anyone could, it’s him. 

Let’s keep blazing, have a great day:)

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