The first time Ankita Kaushal, a Mumbai-based doctor, wore her hemp kurti to work, a co-worker asked if burning it would lead to everyone getting high, like on marijuana. “This kurti is 100 per cent legal,” replied Kaushal.
Hemp is the less controversial and more useful cousin of cannabis. Both plants look alike, but hemp has just 0.3 per cent of THC—the intoxicating element present in cannabis or ganja. Hemp is an industrial-use crop that has over 15,000 uses. Indeed, the National Fibre Policy 2010-2011 pegged India’s hemp industry potential at Rs 240 crore, whereas the global industry was believed to be between Rs 5,320 crore and Rs 6,650 crore in 2015, as per a report. But then, why isn’t hemp business roaring? It’d have something to do with our attitudes around cannabis.