How India can become a global cannabis leader: Q&A with Bombay Hemp’s Avnish Pandya

India’s medical marijuana business will blossom if corporations use science to persuade regulators that MMJ is an efficient drugs.

That’s the view of the nation’s solely licensed medical cannabis cultivator.

Avnish Pandya, co-founder of Bombay Hemp Company, stated one of the simplest ways to develop India’s medical marijuana business is for corporations to work with regulators to develop and show the efficacy of MMJ as a drugs inside the present medical system.

“If we’re able to scientifically prove results, and provide them with enough statistical data, the (government) will be more willing to fast-track the whole system,” he stated.

“The government is also looking at this from a global point of view. If India gets this (clinical testing of MMJ) right, then it means India could have access to a lot of other countries, knowing that cannabis-based medicine is something that has been used in India for a long time already.”

It is authorized to develop medical cannabis for scientific functions in India, with licenses handed out by state governments. But there isn’t a approach for sufferers to entry it.

Still, the potential in India is gigantic, even when MMJ is used for restricted medical purposes,.

Bombay Hemp Company already has the backing of some high-profile buyers, together with Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, and Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan.

Marijuana Business Daily spoke with Pandya concerning the potential of the medical cannabis market in India and abroad.

How is cannabis categorized in India?

Cannabis is outlined in completely alternative ways in India:

  • Hemp, which is lower than zero.three% THC.
  • Bhang, which is the leaves of the cannabis plant. That is already being utilized in drugs and, in some instances, as a leisure drink. The authorities has approved bhang outlets to do that.
  • The medical cannabis model that we all know of worldwide – the buds, flower, the stems, the bracks. This is what was beneath rivalry.

What does your MMJ cultivation license permit?

Currently the license permits us to develop crops inside one acre of land, whether or not its indoor or outside. We’re doing each.

Cultivation is regulated by the state. We have a license from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Currently we’re cultivating 20-odd strains we have now collected round India.

What’s the benefit in main with science?

Rather than preventing the system, we’re working inside it. We can’t anticipate the federal government to drop their system utterly and say, “Start growing cannabis and start selling it to as many people as possible.”

Because the federal government is asking questions on administration, dosage, formulation, how to ensure the product doesn’t get into the incorrect palms … these are all delicate questions any logical individual would ask.

What stage are you in?

We’ve submitted two proposals for trials: one is within the neurological space, and the opposite is within the oncological space. We must be receiving the solutions inside a couple months.

At the identical time, we’re going primary extraction and standardization of our product as nicely.

How a lot help does Parliament member Dharamvir Gandhi’s legalization invoice have?

The invoice shouldn’t be but out there for public viewing. I consider the invoice can be launched into the Parliament this yr.

Dharamvir Gandhi was a member of the Aam Aadmi Party, which was a fringe celebration so far as its political standing within the central authorities. He now … sits as an unbiased, which makes his political place even weaker.

What are its possibilities?

What the invoice would wish is for one of many members of the ruling get together to champion his trigger.

… If the ruling social gathering comes into the equation, then it’d change. But in any other case it appears extra like a invoice that might not go very far.

What alternatives do overseas cannabis corporations have in India?

I segregate the cannabis business into two segments:

  • Those who need to do issues massive, quick and low cost. I don’t assume India is the place for them.
  • Companies prepared to work long run and work inside the regulatory course of.

For corporations prepared to work long run and inside the regulatory course of, there are undoubtedly greater than sufficient alternatives to do properly in India.

We have acquired a lot of queries from the larger Canadian corporations, together with Canopy and Tilray. But we spoke with the founders of these corporations and we realized that their strategy, their mentality and what they point out in Western philosophy, which is the hustle, that hustle could be an excessive amount of for a place like India.

Maybe there are alternatives for worldwide corporations to promote pharmaceutical grade lively pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for product improvement.

If they’ve standardized merchandise, India is the right place to do preclinical and medical testing, as India can also be the pharmacy of the world. India develops, manufactures and does medical testing for many global medicine, so you have already got the ecosystem current.

What’s the potential market in India?

India has 15 million-20 million most cancers sufferers, and inside the neurological phase, so far as we’re taking a look at epilepsy, upwards of 1.5 million. We’re taking a look at an addressable marketplace for particular symptom administration of round 22 million-25 million individuals in India.

This is just for recognized circumstances we have now in these areas, resembling most cancers therapy-induced nausea and vomiting, in addition to palliative care, which is extra like symptom administration.


It will take a little longer. We have 1.2 billion individuals, so we may have a lot extra sick people who find themselves in want of those medicines.

Realistically talking, I don’t assume we might be promoting business merchandise for 1 half years. All our product might be in R&D and might be sampled out to medical establishments for trials and testing.

I don’t see us making the drugs obtainable to the general public by way of the medical for no less than 1 half to 2 years.

This interview has been edited for size and readability.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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