While the state of Maharashtra still remains swamped with a ballooning number of coronavirus cases, many out there have begun to return to their jobs and lives as lockdown rules have been eased up. While this also means that cannabis dealers can finally resume their business, for one weed entrepreneur, this week has not been good news.
On June 5, a 47-year-old man was arrested for running a 4,360 square feet cannabis farm in a village called Girim in Pune district’s Daund taluka, with cannabis worth over ₹21 lakh ($27,800) seized.
According to a statement issued by the officials, the Pune Rural Police acted on a tip-off by a local, and seized a total of 173 cannabis plants and two bags of marijuana stocked for sale—all of it coming up to a total of over 140 kgs of cannabis. “The probe so far has revealed that the accused himself is addicted to marijuana,” said the assistant police inspector who conducted the raid to The Indian Express. “He started growing marijuana on his farm to earn money by selling it.”
An FIR under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 has now been registered against the pot farmer. Despite India’s long history of cannabis use, cannabis cultivation is still illegal except for in government-authorised premises that produce and sell bhang, or for research and medicinal purposes. Uttarakhand, for example, allows the cultivation of hemp, with several other hilly states also considering proposals to allow controlled cultivation of hemp and marijuana. But despite the dubious legality of the plant and its products, Delhi ranked third and Mumbai sixth on a global list of cities consuming the most amount of cannabis.
This is not the first time a weed farm in Maharashtra has been busted either. Last year, an 81-year-old man from the state was arrested for cultivating cannabis too.
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