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Himachal CM sees boom in legalising hemp cultivation

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Shimla, March 6 : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is projecting an economic boom in legalising the hemp cultivation as thousands of families depend on it.
In his Budget speech on Saturday, Thakur said, “Commercial hemp cultivation is permitted and regulated in many countries and in some states in India.” “This creates investment and employment opportunities. The state government proposes to frame a policy to permit commercial hemp cultivation with proper regulatory framework,” Thakur, who holds a finance portfolio too, said.
He presented a Rs 50,192-crore populist but deficit Budget for 2021-22 with no new taxes despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts told IANS there is a huge demand for opium, an extract of the poppy grown widely in high mountains of the state, mainly the Kullu Valley, in the pharmaceutical industry.
They say the selective cultivation of cannabis and poppy on the lines of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh could annually generate revenue of Rs 800 crore to Rs 900 crore.

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