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While many today are decrying marijuana as 'drugs', it wasn't that long ago when yoga guru and millionaire Baba Ramdev's Patanjali called for legalisation of weed. Cannabis oil India – HempCann owns the brand VEDI and is Manufacturer and Marketer of an excellent quality array of Ayurvedic, Herbals, Cannabis Medicine & Cannabis Oil (Hemp Oil) and Castile Soap – Once you use a VEDI castile soap, no other soap will do. Cannabis in India has a new and unlikely backer – Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali.

Remember the Time When Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Batted for Legalisation of Cannabis?

While many today are decrying marijuana as ‘drugs’, it wasn’t that long ago when yoga guru and millionaire Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali called for legalisation of weed.

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Remember the time when Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali called for legalisation of weed?

The Narcotics Control Bureau has of late been in the news for its investigation into the alleged use of drugs by Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty in connection to the death of actor and her reported boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput. The actress was arrested under several sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Pyschotropic Substances Act for allegedly procuring and financing marijuana for Rajput.

The case reopened a raging debate about the legalization of marijuana in India. While so-called fans of Rajput and seekers of “justice for Sushant” were happy with NCB’s arrest, many wondered if it was fair to arrest someone based on laws that were formed due to western influence. In fact, calls for legalisation of marijuana and its byproducts have been around for years.

And while many BJP and far-right supporters today are decrying “marijuana” as drugs, it wasn’t that long ago when yoga guru-cum-millionaire Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali called for legalisation of weed.

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In 2018, Patanjali CEO Acharya Balakrishna (who reportedly owns nearly 98 percentof the stake sin Patanjali) took told the media that Patanjali was looking into possible medicinal uses of the cannabis plant.

In an interview, Balakrishna “In Ayurveda, since ancient times, parts of cannabis (hemp), for instance, have been used for medicinal purposes. So, we are looking at various formulations. We should ponder over the benefits and positive uses of the cannabis plant”.

He was not wrong about the ancient use of cannabis and its byproducts in India.

In India, marijuana has been in use for millennia in various forms including ganja, bhang, hashish and other variants. Its oldest known usage and mention goes as far back as 2000 BCE and it has mentioned in several ancient texts as well as the Vedas.

It was only after 1985 when India passed the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that marijuana or cannabis in the form of buds or resin (charas) was banned while allowing the sale of bhang – a byproduct of cannabis that is still heavily consumed on festivals like Holi and Shivratri.

Balakrishna also spoke on the topic of legalisation of weed in several TedX talks. In one such talk in January 2018 held in Panchkula, the yoga guru had said, “By criminalising marijuana, we are denying a full-fledged business opportunity to our people”.

He did, however, clarify that his advocacy was for medicinal marijuana only, not recreational pot smoking.

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Medicinal Cannabis? Patanjali Might Enter The Billion Dollar Market

The infant cannabis economy in India has found support from unlikely quarters, from Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda, Quartz has reported.

“In Ayurveda, since ancient times, parts of cannabis (hemp), for instance, have been used for medicinal purposes. So, we are looking at various formulations. We should ponder over the benefits and positive uses of the cannabis plant,” said Patanjali’s Chief Executive Officer, Acharya Balkrishna.

Cannabis is one of the 200 species of indigenous plants being researched by a team of 200 scientists at Patanjali’s research and development centre in Haridwar to be used in medicines and other products.

Although cannabis is a highly controlled substance in India, the economy surrounding the plant holds huge growth potential which Patanjali aims to tap. The United States, where cannabis is legal in some states, already has a burgeoning $8 billion cannabis economy. In Canada, where medicinal marijuana is legal, cannabis sale account for as much as 0.2 per cent of the GDP.

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“In western markets, parts of the cannabis plants are being used for fibre for cloth or some kinds of oils. Similarly, we are doing some research to see that the harmful or intoxicating properties are removed and then it is used,” Balkrishna added.

Although, cannabis possession and use is highly controlled in India, Delhi and Mumbai were recently revealed to be among the top 10 cities with highest consumption of cannabis.

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