April 16, 2009

China to Promote Hemp Cultivation

The green light has been given to establish hemp cultivation areas in Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Gansu and Anhui provinces as well as the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia with the goal of creating a new resource for textiles and paper and bringing millions out of poverty by 2020. Already production is begun in remote district of Yunnan province.

Hemp originated in China. Archeological evidence dating back 9,000 years shows it was a cultivated plant. The psychoactive component THC appears to have occured through experimentation with the plant sometime around 3,000 years ago when varieties yielding marijuana were achieved. Although classified a controlled substance by Beijing, as visitors to China know, marijuana use is widespread and not agressively criminalized as in the USA.

But the hemp cultivation envisioned in the new programs is not marijuana but a Chinese hemp variety called Yunma I and Yunma II developed over the past 20 years to yield even stronger fibers but very low THC content....

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