Hemp’s versatility and sustainability

We have been talking to India Hemp & Co about a potential investment opportunity through Rainmatter Health for the following reasons.

What is Hemp?

Hemp - A superfood and a supplement!
● One of the most sustainable, planet-friendly plants around – it’s also extremely nutritious.
● A super-food with an amazing nutritional profile, keeping your mind & body nourished and healthy!
● Rich in dietary fibre, protein, omega 3, 6, iron, zinc, magnesium & vitamins B and E.
● It contains all 9 essential amino acids and is packed with antioxidants.

Firstly Hemp and Marijuana aren’t the same. While they are two varieties of the same basic plant, Cannabis Sativa, they look different, grow differently and have different uses and benefits. Hemp doesn’t get you high :slight_smile: because the THC content is extremely low compared to Marijuana.

Check this article for more

Anyways, while reading up on Hemp, I landed on the below article which has a summary of this detailed study.

Highlighting a few points

  • Hemp is an amazing plant. It uses a fraction of the water needed to grow cotton, every part is useful and it absorbs more carbon dioxide per hectare than other crops and most trees.

  • Cultivated for thousands of years, the eco-friendly plant can be used in food products, biofuels, textiles and even building materials.

  • As a renewable product, the opportunities are sustainable. This is extremely important as countries try to boost their economies while protecting the environment.

  • Hemp can grow in a wide variety of climates in most parts of the world, can be planted on land not suitable for other crops and helps to replenish the soil by removing heavy metals and other contaminants.

  • It’s also beneficial when included in crop rotation. The report notes, for example, that hemp cultivation leads to a 10% to 20% increase in wheat yields.

  • In Africa, 80% or more of the cotton plant’s total mass is burned or discarded, contributing to heavy pollution. In India, suffocating smoke engulfs parts of the country each autumn as farmers burn cotton fields to clear harvest leftovers. On some days, agricultural fires contribute to about half of Delhi’s deadly pollution.

  • Since all parts of the plant – roots, flowers, fruit, stems and leaves – can be used, growing hemp will lead to much less waste and pollution than other crops, whose discarded parts can have a huge ecological footprint.

  • Hemp cultivation may help to maximize the use of land and may also contribute to increasing the incomes of farmers and rural communities.

While there is bound to be regulatory greyness given that Hemp and Marijuana are from the same family, maybe that could be a conversation to be had with the Government on.

The team from India Hemp mentioned that Himachal and Uttarakhand Governments want to promote Hemp. There is also interest from the Andhra Govt.
On my questions on yield for the farmers, this is what they mentioned.

One acre of hemp produces 1000-1200 kgs of fiber (used for fabric and paper).
Current fiber (Hemp stalk) is priced at Rs. 80-100 per kg.
Income range 80,000 -120,000.
One acre of hemp produces 400-500 kgs of hemp seeds.
Current prices are at Rs. 80-150 per kg.
Income range 32,000 - 75000.
One acre of hemp can fetch approx Rs. 5000 for leaves and medical purposes.

So a farmer can make between 1.2 lakhs - 2 lakhs from hemp per acre, per cycle.
These numbers may vary depending on the geographical location and seed quality.

While the Rs 1.2lks to Rs 2lks number seems outrageous and unlikely to hold up if this scales, even a 15 to 20% of this number would mean quite a bit for the farmer.

It will be interesting to hear if anyone here has evaluated Hemp.


Also, here is a plug for https://www.indiahempandco.com/ :wink: for introducing us to Hemp.

Whatever research I have done till now, Hemp does seem like a superfood that can be part of our daily diet. And no, it doesn’t get you high, as explained earlier, due to low THC. :grinning:


Hemp has many benefits, we just have to be careful on the rules as lot of policies are getting formed ( from one of the other start-ups).
We will need to understand the policies and it’s gaps.

I worked on hemp (hempcrete) for 5 years (2014-19). I was one of the 4 hemp pioneers back then. The nutritional profile of hemp seeds is irrefutable. It is pretty awesome.
And while versatility is something everyone talks about, people often forget that the same crop cannot yield fibre and seeds. The fibre variety doesn’t produce good seeds, and the seeding variety doesn’t yield fibre. Further, the seeding variety grows less than half the height of the fibre variety. So what’s grown for seeds wouldn’t even produce enough hurds to make hempcrete or animal bedding.
And then comes the quality of fibre. Hemp fibres aren’t as good as European flax (both fall under the bast fibres category) and cannot even be compared to cotton in terms of softness and price. We have bamboo and banana fibres today that are as soft as cotton. A very old native crop called Kenaf, now almost vanishing from Indian agriculture, produces as much finer quality fibre as hemp, without the associated regulatory headaches. It sells for Rs. 36/kg.
People also talk about how hemp can be used to produce paper. A recent scientific publication showed how the life cycle impacts of producing hemp-based paper are significantly higher than traditional tree pulp paper. Companies like Ruchira Papers produce bagasse and wheat straw-based paper much more sustainably.
For everything that hemp does, we already have a natural alternative. It is amazing how much hemp can do. But the catch is it can only do one thing at a time.


Thanks, this kind of makes sense why hemp hasn’t taken off.


Would like to introduce https://www.oghemp.in/ to this discussion, they’ve done some really good work with hemp based packaging.


Delzaad from Boheco has offered to share more specific numbers on this.
As we a live project currently being set up in the hills to work with only hemp farmers - it would be easier for us to monitor the direct monetary benefits to the farmer.


So far. But that’s changing. While hemp will always face stiff competition from other crops for industrial and textile applications, it does outshine everything else in medicine and nutrition.
And that’s the niche to focus on for the industry to take off. Also, the revenue potential for hemp farmers is the highest from these two applications.
BOHECO and their partners are doing exceptional work developing breeds for India that could solve the challenges for adoption at scale.


Hi Nithin,

Hope you’re having a great day!

As a matter of introduction, I am Jahan Peston Jamas, one of the 7 co-Founders at Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO). BOHECO is India’s first & premier vertically integrated, business to consumer Industrial Hemp & Medical Cannabis company, established 10+ years ago. BOHECO has been working with Indian union and state governments, local industry and farmers to reform the agriculture industry and boost Hemp or Cannabis’ role in the economy, while manufacturing and researching innovative agro-products from the medical hemp (Cannabis) and industrial hemp crops for the Phyto-Pharmaceuticals, Ayurvedic Traditional Medicines, Foods, Cosmetics, Textiles and Nano-materials industries.

Over the course of the last decade, the Hemp & Cannabis industry has gone from a white space to a rapidly growing sector.

As first movers, BOHECO anticipated early on that there are multiple macro challenges which needed to be solved if we were to catalyse the growth of the Hemp & Medical cannabis industry in India :

  1. Scientific complexity of developing indigenous cultivable Hemp/Cannabis seed varieties: - As with most commercial crops, having a cultivable seed variety becomes the main hurdle towards scaling the cultivation of the Hemp crop in India. Which is why in India, almost all Hemp seed/seed oils and Hemp fibres are sourced from wild/natural growing Hemp, which leads to standardization issues in terms of product quality & price per kg. Having anticipated that this would be a key problem to solve, BOHECO has exclusively collaborated with Government institutes such as CSIR-NBRI for the botanical breeding of standardized Hemp (Cannabis) cultivable seed varieties which can be provided to farmers for enhancement of commercial cultivation & development of Hemp fibre/seed based ecosystem.

Recently BOHECO undertook India’s first ever Low THC Industrial Hemp cultivation in partnership with Farmer groups and the State Government in Bageshwar (Uttarakhand) on a 3 acre land parcel.I’ve attached a document which breaks down the cultivation economics for seed & fibre cultivation in greater detail. This has provided the local farming community with double the income and inspired confidence to rapidly scale the commercial cultivation of Hemp to cater for growing market demand.
BOHECO_Cultivation Economics_Fibre Purpose.pdf (130.2 KB)

BOHECO_Cultivation economics_Dual purpose.pdf (106.3 KB)

  1. Harmonization of regulatory complexity between multiple State Governments: - As you correctly mentioned, states such as Uttarakhand & Himachal Pradesh have either developed or are developing policies to allow for greater width in licensed cultivation & manufacturing of Hemp (seed & fibre) and Medical Cannabis (leaf & flower) based products under Section 14 and Section 10 of the NDPS Act respectively. BOHECO’s regulatory team has been engaged with both these states as an Industry partner since 2015, along with 6+ other state Governments who are actively working on developing similar cultivation policies. One of the biggest challenges which we are solving for is inter-state cooperation through regulatory harmonization between multiple State Governments in order to ensure that the legal & licensed transport of raw materials/semi-finished products/finished products can be transported from State ‘A’ to State ‘B’ for sales & distribution in online + offline channels without any overzealous action by authorities within the state due to regulatory misperception.

  2. Lack of large scale consumer awareness about the utility, safety & legality of Hemp products :- The Indian consumer market has only just begun to build comfort & confidence around the applications of Hemp in food, medicines, textiles, paper etc. However a significant amount of awareness is still limited to Tier 1, SEC A+ and A segments due to numerous factors such as the average cost of a product v/s existing market alternatives + prevailing cultural stigmas around Hemp being classified as a Narcotic Drug (which isn’t the case with the Hemp seed, leaf and fibre based products) in other Tier 1 and Tier 2, Tier 3 markets. BOHECO has been solving for this unique market challenge by aiming to lead category creation & building of the industrial hemp & medical cannabis ecosystem through an omni-channel approach including presence across 200+ pharmacies & chemists, 500+ Doctors clinics, 35+ e-commerce platforms, our own store/polyclinic and our own website.

  3. Abundance of anecdotal evidence/ lack of clinical evidence :- One of the biggest challenges towards increasing user & doctor/medical specialist adoption of Hemp seed based nutritional super foods & Hemp leaf based health & wellness products is the lack of centralized, clinical data showcasing how they are safe, tolerable & effective to the human body for multiple conditions/indication areas. At BOHECO we have been solving for this complex challenge by being the first company in India conducting human grade clinical studies with premier Medical institutes such as National Institute of Ayurveda (Jaipur) and Tata Memorial Centre (Mumbai) using Hemp leaf based medicines for a host of indication areas such as Osteoarthritis, Eczema, Stress & Sleep Disorders, IBS, Breast Cancer, Oral Cancer & Palliative Care. Further, BOHECO engages with 1000+ AYUSH and Modern medicine practitioners to collect real world evidence of such products once they are prescribed to patients.

  4. Supply Chain & Manufacturing complexities in Hemp fibre value chain :- Due to a majority of Hemp fibre still being collected from wild/natural growing Hemp plants in India and with commercial cultivation only having just gotten underway, Hemp is viewed as a 1st generation agriculture crop in India. As a result, there previously existed a lack of manufacturing/technology solutions to convert the Hemp fibre based raw material into good quality cottonized fibre for wider use-case applications within the Textiles industry. At BOHECO, we have been solving for this shortcoming through our JV subsidiary Hemptex India where we have developed proprietary technology/capability to convert the Indian hemp fibre into cottonized material for spinning into yarns, fabrics and thereafter, end garments. Hemptex India aims to process the fibres from India and is now collaborating with multiple large Indian textile mills to manufacture end textile products to meet the domestic + global export based commercial demand for Hemp textiles.

To conclude, BOHECO has led front & centre by anchoring on two fronts: establishing a prominent brand name in the Indian consumer’s mind, as well as aims to solve for complexities at the base – thereby building for the industry’s bedrock.

We would be glad to exchange notes on some of the points mentioned above as well as other industry challenges + opportunities over a healthy discussion, whenever would be most convenient for you.


Hi Nitin,

I would like to introduce you to Ukhi.

Ukhi is a B2B startup. We produce affordable, compostable alternatives to fossil based plastics & sustainable textile using hemp.

To replace cotton and fossil based plastics with biodegradable options while retaining product performance on par.

We are the only company in India which makes single use biodegradable plastic from hemp. Besides, we make textile. hemp textile takes 99% less water than cotton, consumes 68% less energy. hemp bio-mass sequesters around 10 tons of carbon dioxide per acre.

Problem We are addressing

  • ● Few green alternatives for two of the major industries - textiles and plastics, worldwide.
  • ● No viable options at scale to replace single use plastics which have been banned in many countries including India.
  • ● International Fashion brands are looking towards the Indian textile industry for sustainable options (organic, low carbon and low water usage) for textiles but no cost effective solution available.
  • ● India is fully dependent on China & Europe for Hemp fibre & yarn supply.
  • ● Millions of tons of hemp/nettle straw is burned around the world causing pollution.

. Benefits

  • ● Complete ownership of the value chain from hemp to textile at lower Capex ( -80% due to process) and Opex (geographic advantage).
  • ● Our fibre processing is completely sustainable. No toxic chemicals are used at any stage.
  • ● Water less process of compostable, plastic granule manufacturing.
  • ● Fashion industry can cut their water footprint drastically (one order of magnitude) and GHGs emission by more than 50% by switching to hemp.

Will love to discuss more if you are interested.


We have decided to allocate funds to Hemp, maybe across a few startups. But we are now trying to figure out any risks of investing in this sector, given regulatory greyness. We don’t want the Government or any regulatory body to point the finger at us for supporting this sector. This risk, especially if any of the startups had a miss, for example, in their supply chain, if someone grew Marijuana along with Hemp and then the startup got into trouble.

Any help for us to think through this will be fantastic.

By the way, under what central ministry would this come under? Forests?

  1. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. (FSSAI)

  2. State excise department.

Source(s): - Hemp farming : government licensing process - iPleaders

Hi @NithinKamath ,

In Uttrakhand this falls under excise department. Center for Aromatic Plant, Selaqui, Dehradun is the body assigned to make policy on hemp. Unfortunately or fortunately, the body who is responsible for making the policy is also responsible for checking the THC level of the plant samples which are collected from farmers by excise office.

Now, I am answering your question what if someone grows marijuana instead of hemp.

I have attached the copy of new drafted policy of hemp. It was in discussion for last 2 years and now Govt of Uttrakhand has become active and pushing It. Yesterday the new tourism policy came, hopefully they will make this backlog of hemp policy in few months as well.
According to the new policy if someone grows Hemp but it THC shoots above the limit of 0.3% ( classified as Marijuana) , the excise officer or the District Magistrate shall allow the stem to be used, which can be used for textile, bio plastics and paper. But the person will not be persecuted. We have requested the Govt to allow use of seeds as well.
Besides, this new policy allows Marijuna plant to be grown for medicinal purpose.

You can watch this video to know more about new new policy: Feedback on Industrial & Medical Cannabis Proposed Policy Draft 2023 - YouTube

I highly recommend that you should invest in this industry as this industry can help textile industry and plastic industry cut their carbon emission by more than 50%.

Please watch this video and see how Hemp can help in poverty reduction too and why It can be an amazing industry to invest:

Final English Hemp Rules (5) (1).pdf (821.0 KB)

1 Like

Hi Nithin,

So for the seeds (which is the only thing we use to make all our products) it’s very straight forward.

  1. The seeds don’t come under the NDPS act.

So even if there was a slight chance of marijuana seeds sent to us, it will not be considered illegal as seeds from both plants are not considered illegal.

Here’s a recent article that also proved the same in a Bombay court ruling.

  1. FSSAI has deemed hemp seed fit for human consumption.

  2. Current Uttrakhand draft policy - The seeds are to be considered an agricultural and horticulture commodity.

We are in the clear.


Greetings from OG Hemp!

My name is Shailesh Ganeriwala and I am one of the creators of OG Hemp. We are one of the few companies working on the stalks of the hemp plant and creating pulp, paper and further converting it to compostable packaging. Our vision is that one day, we can finally tell our children that we’ve made up for those trees we lost over the technical know-how and resources for paper making.

Every minute the size of 50 football fields of forests are cut down around the world, just for paper making. Making paper from wood requires polluting agents such as sulphuric
acid, bleach and chlorine to remove its non-cellulose fiber mass during the pulping process. Cellulose is the main chemical that adds strength to paper. All natural fibers such as kenaf, bamboo, eucalyptus have a substantial amount of cellulose in it but Hemp bast has the highest cellulose content, tensile strength, and molecular binding of all plants. Essentially, the more cellulose a plant contains, fewer chemicals needed to make paper. Also, hemp fibers are the strongest natural fiber found on our planet.

Hemp has a great combination of long fibers (bast) and short fibers (hurds) combined together unlike other plant based fibers. The hemp plant has been scientifically proven to absorb more CO2 per acre than any forest or commercial crop and is therefore the ideal
carbon “sink”. The strength of the whole stalk of hemp is much higher than that of other plants and the lignin percentage is less. With our successful research done with CPPRI (Central pulp & paper research institute) now we can directly use the whole stalk of hemp plant (without actually water retting and separating the fibers) for pulp conversion and not compromising the strength of the fibers, making the whole process more economical & carbon friendly. (Process & recipe is patent pending in a collaboration with CPPRI) One acre of hemp planted for 40 years has 400% more usable fiber than one acre of trees through their 40-year lifecycle making hemp the most efficient biomass source in the world.

In order to achieve the 2050 carbon emission targets, not only our products need to be sustainable but also the processes used to make and convert them should be sustainable and eco friendly. In terms of carbon emission hemp converted into packaging will have the least carbon footprint on the planet, if done in a planned and efficient manner.

Hemp has always been a better natural resource than trees. It needs very little water to thrive and unlike cotton or flax requires considerably less pesticides or herbicides.The truth is, because hemp was not legal throughout most of the world for the last 80 years, it was never given a chance to compete on an equal footing with wood, or any other natural fibers.

We would love to discuss more in detail about the industrial hemp industry (Under Ministry of Agriculture, Excise, Commerce & Industry, Forest & Environment) & medical hemp (Under Ministry of Agriculture, Excise, Ayush, NDPS, Health & Family Welfare, Commerce & Industry) which can be considered as two different sides of the coin and require different approach and strategy.

I am attaching a report from my dear friend Robert on the same which can give more insights about how growing more acreage of hemp can change the world.

(HTJ) Growing 50 million acres of hemp - htj - June 9 21 (1) (2).pdf (986.3 KB)


Hi Nithin,

Pleasure to connect here.

By way of introduction, I am the co-founder of India Hemp Organics.

We are building a vertically-integrated house-of-brands in medicine, food, and lifestyle.

We envision a world in which farmers are growing for industries and believe that Hemp is a unique and versatile crop that can help make that vision a reality.

Our journey started in 2017, while we were still in college, my girlfriend (now wife and co-founder) was involved in a life-threatening road accident.

She had 32 stitches on her face and multiple broken bones throughout her body. After being admitted to the hospital, she was given strong doses of opioids and painkillers, which resulted in numerous side effects. We were desperate and were willing to try anything that would speed up her recovery.

During our research, we came across global scientific research papers that proved the myriad benefits of cannabis.

We were able to alleviate her pain, inflammation, anxiety, and promote bone repair resulting from the accident by using internationally-sourced CBD oil - as none were available in India.

After experiencing the healing benefits of this wonder-plant, we decided to dedicate our lives to the cause.

Fast forward to today, we have worked with multiple state governments and regulatory authorities to help them rationalise the framework for Hemp legalisation in India.

Our focus is on creating awareness about the benefits of Hemp and developing a sustainable supply chain that can benefit farmers and communities while meeting the demands of consumers/patients locally and globally.

We are currently one of the largest brands in India and have worked with over 25,000+ patients/customers. Our social media platforms promoting awareness on hemp for the benefit of farmers, patients and government bodies have a cumulative following of 60,000 followers. Additionally, we have represented India in multiple think tanks.

To answer your question on the regulatory lash-back and as well as concerned government departments involved.

The following interpretations are based on excerpts from the draft “Uttarakhand Cannabis (Medical and Scientific Purposes) and Industrial Hemp Cultivation, Processing and Product Manufacturing Rules 2023”.

Attaching the document here for your reference.

Cultivation of Medical and Industrial Cannabis/Hemp is permitted. Here are the key takeaways & highlights:

For medical & scientific purposes:

  • Cultivation of Cannabis for Medical and Scientific Purposes shall be done in Poly House, Indoor protected cultivation area as well as in open field in complete safe environment as per norms prescribed by Excise Department including wire fencing and CCTV monitoring.
  • The flowers are legal and there is no cap on the THC limit. Any local seeds can be used. It will be inspected by the Excise department across all stages, right from the Cannabis Fields → Storehouse → Processing/Extraction Unit → Product manufacturing site.
  • The records of cultivation, processing/ extraction, product manufacturing, video and security camera recordings, log books, other evidences and weight of green and dry plant material shall be inspected any time by the District Excise Officer/Nodal Officer.
  • Any unauthorised cultivation beyond the designated area will be punishable under the NDPS Act, 1985.

Key regulatory decision makers for medical cannabis:

  • Chairman - Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of Uttarakhand
  • Member - Secretary, Excise, Government of Uttarakhand
  • Member - Director, Department of Horticulture, Uttarakhand, Dehradun
  • Member - Director, Centre for Aromatic Plants, Selaqui, Dehradun
  • Member - Drug Controller, Food Safety and Drug Administration
  • Member - Drug Controller, Ayurvedic and Unani Services, Uttarakhand
  • Member Secretary - Excise Commissioner, Uttarakhand, Dehradun

For Industrial purposes:

  • The licensee must inform the relevant District Magistrate 30 days prior to the harvesting of the industrial Hemp for THC analysis. The DM will then instruct the Nodal Officer to collect samples of the crop.
  • The Nodal Officer will allow the Licensee to harvest Industrial Hemp only if the crop’s maximum prescribed quantity of THC is 0.3% or less.
  • If the THC level is greater than 0.3%, the District Magistrate will grant permission to the farmer to use the stem and branches of the plant for fiber purposes. The “flower”, “leaves”, and “seeds” will be destroyed in the presence of the District Excise Officer.
  • Any part of the plant, excluding the flowering or fruiting tops, can be used.

Key regulatory decision makers for industrial hemp:

  • Chairman - Additional Chief Secretary/ Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Uttarakhand
  • Member - Principal Secretary/Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Government of Uttarakhand
  • Member - Principal Secretary/Secretary, Medical & Health Department, Government of Uttarakhand
  • Member - Principal Secretary/Secretary, Excise Department, Government of Uttarakhand
  • Member Secretary - Excise Commissioner, Uttarakhand

^ to name a few…

The above factors have clearly demarcated the growing and operational efficiencies one must have when growing medical or industrial cannabis/hemp.

As long as these steps are followed, the company will be in compliance with the law. For anyone looking to grow ganja illegally and misuse this law, it would be far more advisable for them to do so outside of the framework of the law. Obtaining a license for such activities would be foolish.

We’re happy to exchange further notes on the future of the Hemp industry in India.


Hi Nithin,

It’s a great pleasure to hear about Rainmatter’s commitment to allocating funds towards Hemp in India!

I have attached a few documents here which highlight perceived regulatory barriers & mitigation methods already being pursued, to de-link any regulatory greyness attached to the Hemp/Cannabis industry in India.

Furthermore, I’ve attached a few documents here which highlight the key sections of the NDPS Act, 1985 + and Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 which allow for the regulatory enablement of legally using Hemp/Cannabis across different parts of the value chain.

Final_Legal Note.pdf (155.9 KB)
FSSAI Notification_Hemp Seeds.pdf (2.3 MB)
Key Sections_Drugs and Cosmetics Act.pdf (91.1 KB)
Key Sections_NDPS Act.pdf (150.2 KB)

I have also briefly highlighted the relevant Central Ministries/State Government departments responsible to different aspects of policy viz a viz varying parts of the Hemp/Cannabis plant:-

• Industrial Hemp cultivation: Excise Department/Agriculture Department of the State Government under guidance from Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue basis Section 14 of NDPS Act, 1985
• Medical Cannabis cultivation: Excise Commissioner/ State Excise Department of the State Government under guidance from Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue basis Section 10 of NDPS Act
• Industrial Hemp manufacturing for products (Seed purposes): FSSAI, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

• Industrial Hemp manufacturing for products (Fibre & Textile purposes): Ministry of Textiles

• Medical Cannabis manufacturing for products (Leaf): State Ayush Department, Drug Controller

• Medical Cannabis manufacturing for products (Flower): State Excise Commissioner/State Excise Department under guidance from Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) and Director (Narcotic Control) at Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue under NDPS Act, 1985 and relevant Sections of Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1945

On a separate note, in a response to your concerns regarding suspicious & illegal cultivation High THC Marijuana in a field of Low THC Hemp:-

  1. Existence of Regulatory guard-rails:

A) As per the current Industrial Hemp policy in Uttarakhand, if a farmer cultivates a plant which tests for higher than 0.3% THC, then the entire crop will be seized and destroyed by the nodal excise officer at the time of harvest, thereby ensuring the risk of diversion to illicit markets is restricted. We have attached a copy of the policy here.
Uttarakhand complete hemp policy and application forms.pdf (4.1 MB)
Uttarakhand_GO English.docx (16.6 KB)

B) As per the upcoming Industrial hemp policy in Uttarakhand (which is currently at a draft finalization stage), if any of the plants tests for higher than 0.3% THC, then the cultivator will at least be able to harvest the stalk/fibre of the plant (potentially the seeds as well: this is currently under discussion with State Government authorities) whereas the other sensitive parts of the plant (leaf, flower/bud) will be seized and destroyed by the nodal excise officer at the time of harvest, thereby ensuring the risk of diversion to illicit markets is restricted. We have attached the draft policy here.

C) As per the upcoming Medical Cannabis policy in Uttarakhand (which is currently at a draft finalization stage), as well as in Himachal Pradesh, there will be no THC limits for any plant cultivated for medicinal purposes (leaf,flower/bud). This is primarily due to the therapeutic nature of THC when used in analgesic/anti-inflammatory based medical drugs. In order to prevent the risk of diversion to illicit markets, the policy contains licensing & compliance based safe guards in terms of the cultivator requiring to have secured vaults for storage, CCTV camera arrangements for the cultivation + extraction sites, security based ring fencing of the site of cultivation amongst others, audit to be conducted by the State Excise department, Stringent eligibility criteria when applying for license (including background checks), and potentially high licensing fees for cultivation, extraction & transport amongst several provisions to deter fly-by-knight operators from taking advantage of such policy developments. We have attached the draft policy here.
Final English Hemp Rules (5) (1).pdf (821.0 KB)

  1. Botanical Dissonance of growing High THC Cannabis plants between/adjacent to Low THC Hemp plants:

There is an increasing body of global evidence from geographies with legal high THC recreational Cannabis cultivation and Low THC Industrial Hemp cultivation, which shows that if the former were to be grown alongside/adjacent to the latter then it results in cross pollination, which in turn reduces the quantum of THC within the High THC Cannabis plant. Such cross pollination occurs because cannabis is what we call a dioecious plant, meaning that male and female features, seeds and flowers, occur on different plants instead of the same one.
Female marijuana plants produce flowers which farmers grow for their THC content, but if male hemp plants, which are largely grown for their seed & fibres, are planted in close vicinity to female plants, the hemp can pollinate the female marijuana plant. That can cause them to seed and impact their yield and THC content through the sharing of genetic information. This has been a bugbear for cultivators of recreational Cannabis growers in other countries.

However, in India such cross pollination would ensure that any duplicitous operations involving a cultivator trying to grow High THC Cannabis plants under the guise of Low THC Hemp will only result in the THC lowering due to cross pollination, thereby ensuring it would be unviable for any illicit, illegal recreational cannabis sales & distribution in India.

Reference :

  1. https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/article/industry-news/keep-em-separated-cannabis-hemp-cross-pollination-problem-blows-into-cal/
  2. https://www.cannabistech.com/articles/preventing-cross-pollination-between-cannabis-hemp/
  3. Former CIA Director James Woolsey Testifying on Why You Can't Grow Marijuana in a Hemp Field - YouTube – Former Director at the CIA testifies to a Government committee on why you can’t grow Marijuana in a Hemp field

We’d be happy to discuss and share more about the granularity of regulation in greater depth with you and the team, whenever would be most convenient for us to connect.


Hi Nithin (@NithinKamath) ,

Really happy to hear on allocating funds towards Hemp in India and Rainmatter’s commitment. This is surely going to help the industry grow better.

To introduce myself, I am the Co-Founder at Herbino. We are a vertically integrated hemp supply chain company and are the First Cannabis Research and Product Development company in Jharkhand.

Our goal is to create a robust supply chain platform direct from farms to businesses and consumers looking to source hemp raw materials such as fibre, seed and stalk. Along those lines, we have been into developing Textiles from Hemp since our inception to address the current pain points of domestic as well as major international fashion and textile based brand/business to find credible, compliant with certifications and quality sourcing of Hemp Textiles. Our USP is to provide flexibility in turning any existing fabric in use, such as Fashion Apparel, Home Decor and even vehicle interior upholstery, anything you see in other natural and synthetic fabrics, we make it possible in Hemp while being the most price competitive in India.

As hemp being an unorganised market currently in India, we worked on the part of solving the sustainability textile market in which we worked to organised our Hemp Textiles Development in the way where previously brands/ businesses had a hard time “transitioning” into a sustainable fabric like Hemp due to lack of two main factors - Flexibility to customise while being price competitive. This is what we have solved in the market currently, because of which brands like FCUK, Biasa, and now Mara Hoffman, has selected us as their supply chain partner in the early stages of our startup. A designer’s limitation is not being able to be versatile with customisation while having price competitive advantage is what we made possible and that attracts brands to work with Hemp. A blunt fact we have seen over the time.

Apart from the product end, we have been spearheading the policy acceptance and development in the State of Jharkhand as well centrally for whole of India through senior government level interactions and presentations. Jharkhand has shown positive acceptance towards conducting research on the plant on state level whereas, while we were working with Invest India for a historical meeting centrally for Hemp & Cannabis (upcoming), out of 3 important recommendation blueprint points which we had created for the Jharkhand Govt, was also shared with Invest India and further was shared with the Uttarakhand Hemp Policy Round Table, which we were happy to see, 2 out of the 3 key points being implemented into the upcoming Cannabis & Hemp Policy of Uttarakhand. The same blueprint presentation being also brought to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s attention earlier. Thanks to my great industry peers for the support throughout.

Other developments:

1 - Developed India’s First Hemp Bio Diesel and succeeded at the first trial run in a brand new diesel machine in Jamshedpur. Developed in house and not in a lab.
2 - India’s First Hemp infused Mexican Kitchen, serving finest Hemp Tacos and Burritos. A JV with Munchin Foodworks Private Limited to introduce Hemp Foods for the first time in Jharkhand.
3 - World’s First Guayabera de Canamo shirt developed in 100% Hemp Textile, a traditional Mexican shirt that holds significance in the Latin American history & culture which was once wore as a field uniform by the Spanish Soldiers.

As a 23 year old who came young into Hemp in India, my dream of an ultimate goal in the future is to have an eco system for cultivation, supply chain and product linkage while capturing carbon throughout the whole process for the global market, from India.

Happy to chat, discuss and share with you further in detail how we have been able to move forward with a slightly different approach with Hemp’s acceptance and experience amongst government and consumers in Tier 2 & 3 cities where opportunity to scale is now stands the most. Let’s chat on a time best convenient for you and your team - [email protected].

All of us here surely appreciate you for opening a conversation on Hemp here while having the interest to provide support!

Ankit Pratap Singh


Hi Nithin,

It’s great to see people like you realise the difference between Cannabis & Hemp and how it can be a true game changer in our effort to reach a Net Zero World.

I’m the co-founder at Terraphilic, India’s only private limited company holding a Hemp Cultivation license and we work extremely closely with both the Uttarakhand government as well as the Central Government across departments. We are in our first grow run and are looking at building a solid supply chain with uniform as well as price inelastic supply of hemp to companies in the hemp consumer space. We’re also a member of PIMCHA, India’s premier association driving policy reforms in the hemp sector.

We will be extremely glad to have a chat with you to make you understand all the policy & regulatory frameworks around Hemp in India. We’ve spent the last 2 years laying down some solid groundwork around this space.


Thanks, everyone from the Hemp world, for participating here. @Pai and our team will get in touch with you to seek some help figuring out the regulatory aspects of us investing in this sector.