India’s leading purveyor of traditional medicine is trying to pry open the country’s medical and industrial cannabis markets and, in doing so, create the largest medical marijuana market in the world.
Hundreds of scientists employed by Patanjali Ayurved Limited are researching the benefits of various indigenous Indian plants, including cannabis, for use in medicines and other products, according to Quartz India.
Last summer, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi suggested legalizing MMJ.
The country’s state governments have been empowered for decades to license cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, but it wasn’t until recently that the first license was issued.
That license is being used by the Bombay Hemp Company and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to cultivate 20 different strains of cannabis with the aim of developing medicine.
“The cannabis economy in India is just getting started,” Yash Kotak, founder and director of the Bombay Hemp Company, told Quartz.