May 27, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Cannabis can fetch benefits but still illegal in Nepal

The Nepal Weekly
March 7, 2023

Ganja also called cannabis in Nepal has been made illegal since 1976, but the country has a long history of use of cannabis for Ayurvedic medicine, intoxicant and as a holy offering for Hindu god Shiva and continues to produce cannabis illicitly.

Nepal has used psychoactive cannabis for centuries, and as early as the 1970s Nepalese Charas (opium) was recognized as the best available. Nepal was a gateway destination for every Ganja lover. There used to be a street known as Freak Street where Marijuana products were sold openly by licensed agents.

Some lawmakers of Nepal are pushing to legalize marijuana decades after the Himalayan country, once an international hippie haven due to its Ganja cultivation, outlawed the production and consumption.

A news report posted last year reading Ganja cultivation and trade might be legalised in Nepal. The federal government was preparing for formulating the legal provisions.

Recently some influential institutions like Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries and Kathmandu University – School of Lean Innovation had conducted separate discussion programmes to share knowledge on Cannabis, its value in economic and financial terms.

Cannabis are incredibly versatile plants that have the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries and benefit society in many ways. A few explanations are worthwhile to consider why extensive research and innovation on these plants is important, they are mentioned below.

Cannabis and hemp are fast-growing plants that can be grown using relatively little water and without the need for synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. This makes them an attractive alternative to traditional crops in terms of environmental impact. By researching the best ways to cultivate and use these plants, we can help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and other unsustainable resources.

The cannabis and hemp industries are growing rapidly and are expected to be worth billions of dollars in the near future. By researching and developing new uses for these plants, we can create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Both cannabis and hemp contain compounds that have been shown to have medicinal properties. For example, CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Through extensive research, we can learn more about how these compounds work and how to best use them to improve human health.

Hemp can be used in a wide range of products, from textiles to plastics to building materials. It is a strong, durable and renewable resource, unlike many of the non-renewable resources used today. By researching ways to use hemp and other cannabis-based materials in place of non-renewable resources, we can help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and other unsustainable resources. The prohibition of cannabis has resulted in disproportionately harsh criminal justice penalties for individuals, particularly people of indigenous community of Nepal. Research and innovation on these plants can help to correct these injustices by creating a legal, regulated market for cannabis and hemp products, and thus reducing the criminalization of the plant and the communities that have been affected by it.

Overall, the cannabis and hemp plant have the potential to have a positive impact on the environment, economy, health and social justice. By investing in research and innovation on these plants, we can unlock their full potential and create a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Nepal has a rich heritage and tradition of cannabis practices for centuries, which can serve as a valuable resource for interdisciplinary research and innovation in the field. Additionally, Nepal has several advantages that make it well-suited for leading and promoting research and innovation in this area:

1.   Abundant natural resources: Nepal is home to a diverse range of climates and terrains, making it well-suited for growing a wide variety of cannabis strains. This diversity can be harnessed to research the plant in different conditions and environments.

2.   Experienced and cultured practitioners: Nepal has a long history of cannabis practices based on Vedas. The prevalence of Ayurveda and Vedic rituals in the country have developed a deep understanding of the plant’s multiple properties. Similarly, our festivals and cultures have referred cannabis as an important plant which is deeply ingrained in the daily lives of many of religious, spiritual and indigenous communities. This strong connection to the plant can help to foster a new avenue in understanding the plant through research and innovation in the field, as well as can encouraging local engagement and participation in the process.

3.   Geopolitical location: Nepal is located in the Himalayas and between two major cannabis consumers India and China, which gives it a strategic location to lead in the field of cannabis research and innovation. And it can also benefit from the experience and expertise of neighbouring countries.

4.   Economic opportunities: The cannabis and hemp industries have the potential to provide economic benefits for Nepal. By leading and promoting research and innovation in this area, Nepal can position itself as a leader in the field, create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

In conclusion, Nepal’s rich heritage and tradition of cannabis use, its diverse natural resources, experienced farmers, strong cultural connection and strategic location make it an ideal country for leading and promoting interdisciplinary research and innovation on cannabis with the perspective of “From heritage to innovation”. By embracing this perspective, Nepal can capitalize on its natural and cultural resources to create new and innovative products and services that benefit society and the environment.

A country’s brand refers to the reputation and image that the country has in the eyes of the world. This reputation can be shaped by a variety of factors, including economic stability, political stability, cultural heritage, natural resources, and more.

In the context of Nepal, the country’s brand can be associated with its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The country is known for its breath-taking mountain ranges, including Mount Everest, and its many temples and shrines, which are important pilgrimage sites for many Hindu and Buddhist devotees. Nepal is also well-known for its rich history and cultural heritage, which includes many traditional art forms and handicrafts.

Additionally, the brand of Nepal can be associated with the image of a peaceful, spiritual and friendly nation, which makes the country an attractive destination for travellers and trekkers, who come to experience the natural and cultural wonders of the country.

The government of Nepal is actively working to establish the country as a hub for agriculture. In addition to this, Nepal should also explore the potential of cannabis as a sustainable and environmentally friendly material source with a lot of medical properties yet to be researched. This approach has the potential to not only enhance Nepal’s reputation as a responsible and environmentally conscious nation, but also drive economic growth within the country.

However, it’s worth noting that a country’s brand is a constantly evolving concept and it takes time and effort to establish a strong and recognizable brand for any country. Nepal, like any other country, still has many challenges to face to establish its brand and to promote it globally, however, by focusing on its strengths and embracing the idea of “From heritage to innovation” Nepal has potentials to establish a brand that will make it stand out in the global market.

But ask yourself a question, if world knows Scottish Whisky, French Wine, Russian Vodka, Cubian Cigar, Swiss Watches, German Cars because they have embarced their heritage, invested in research and innovation on it.  Why not “Nepali Bhang”?

Embrace the multi-property and potential of Bhang referring to the wisdom of the Vedas, our Vaidyas’s Cancer-fighting and life-saving formulations, our fine craftsmanship of hemp fabrics and papers. 

In the recent years, a number of countries including USA, Canada, Thailand have legalised Ganja plantation and use as medical raw material whereas still illegal in Nepal. Legal provisions with control in quality and quantity production for domestic and exports to international markets can be lucrative source of income for the country. Moreover, this trade can support lifting the living standard of the farmers as well.   Thus, policy revision is a foremost requirement and followed by capacity building for quality and quantity production for non-narcotic uses. (R.P. Narayan and KU-School of Lean Innovation)