India: The Regulatory Highs And Lows Of Launching Medicinal Hemp Products

India: The Regulatory Highs And Lows Of Launching Medicinal Hemp Products
CANNANNEW REPORT

19 July 2022 by Aparna Sridharan Ikigai Law In this post, we unpack the regulatory compliances a medicinal hemp product has to go through. Introduction In our last post1 we spoke about the history, science and the regulator’s take on cannabis. In this installment on cannabis regulation, we tell you how you can cultivate, sell and market your hemp products. Largely, hemp can be legally cultivated, processed and sold– but only for scientific, medicinal2 or food or industrial purposes3. For the purposes of this post, we will discuss only the medicinal route of doing business. Before we begin, here are some things you need to know, to understand the next section better: 1. Applicable law: The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 19852 (NDPS), Drugs and Cosmetics Act,1940 (DCA), excise laws and cannabis specific state laws apply. 2. The regulator: The excise department of respective states are responsible to issue licenses for cultivation, possession and use of cannabis. From a medicinal use perspective, it is the Ministry of AYUSH. And the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for food related use cases. 3. Red flags: Recreational use of the plant is prohibited by law. Also, use without proper permits, and in some cases selling without a prescription, might also land you in trouble. 4. Quantity matters: Regulations prescribe how ‘strong’ your hemp can be (ie – levels of THC and CBD) – be it for cultivation or manufacturing. Check out our last post, for what CBD and THC mean, and what they do. The checklist The table summarizes the compliance and requirements a business must comply with, to kick their medicinal hemp business off the ground. Other general laws on e-commerce, telemedicine, and consumer protection will also apply. But these laws do not carve out any special obligations for hemp businesses. Where do we go from here? Policy makers have a…

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