The usage of cannabis, hemp or marijuana precedes official records, and it is one of the oldest crops thought to have been cultivated. A complex plant with over 400 chemical entities, it remains poorly understood to this day due to the restrictions, legal and otherwise, imposed on it, making a rational, scientific appraisal and acceptance of it by the general public, difficult.
Hemp and hemp products have been a central theme in the international drug control regime and have been controversial, to say the least. A hemp plant, however, can be much more than just a gateway drug, as is commonly misunderstood, and can have various uses including in manufacturing of vegetable oils, plant-based protein, paper, canvas, rope, lace, linen, building materials, amongst others. INDUSLAW’s Kartik Ganapathy, Rashi Saraf, Spandan Saxena and Nabarun Chandra Ray discuss the historical and contemporary regulatory landscape of hemp and hemp products.