Tata to Fund Cannabis Research and Manufacturing in India

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The Bombay Hemp Company (Boheco) in December 2017 received US$ 1 million from Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata to use industrial hemp in textiles, material sciences, and health and nutrition.

Few Indian entrepreneurs are focused on the legal cannabis landscape, which has applications in healthcare and agriculture sector. Industrial hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa strain, which has lower psychoactive properties as compared to marijuana. “Cannabis is still looked at as something that gives you a high. Few know there are a lot of uses for hemp and the wild cannabis which is grown abundantly in India can rarely be used for intoxication by any part of the cannabis plant, apart from its flower,” said Sanvar Oberoi, co-founder of Boheco.

Boheco works with 75 industries from Uttarkashi, Rudra Prayag, Tehri Garhwal, and Dehradun for manufacturing textiles out of raw hemp. Boheco has also started B Label, which produces clothing for men and women made of hemp. It is gaining significant traction from Canada, Germany, and the U.S. Uttarakhand is the first state in the country to legalize cannabis cultivation.

Hemp commonly refers to the industrial/commercial use of the cannabis stalk and seed for textiles, foods and medical purposes. Bengaluru-based startup B.E. Hemp India uses yarn made of hemp to make clothing and accessories such as scarves, slippers, wallets and bags. Namrata Hemp Company plans a hemp farm in Andhra Pradesh to cultivate industrial hemp and set up an R&D facility and warehouse.

According to Medical Cannabis Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, studies are conducted extensively to establish the safety aspect of this drug. Various states in the U.S. have already legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes. Scientific research of chemicals in the cannabis plant for its potential medicinal use has led to a shift in its demand purpose. Regulatory clearance has played a major role in the growth of Medical cannabis market. Globally, funding for cannabis-centered startups has increased over 90% since 2014.

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