Russia: Hemp Plantations Could Return
By Tom Washington, Moscow News
Hemp could be back on the landscape as part of a $315 million project. "We have already assessed the costs, they stand at approximately 10 billion rubles," Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
The State Anti-drug Committee will decide on Wednesday whether to allow the planting of hemp, currently prohibited in Russia. The country is currently one of the world's biggest importers of hemp fibers and oil.
He added that the funds could be raised "without cutting other important [budget] expenditures."
Russia is estimated to have at least 1 million hectares of illegal cannabis, planted mainly on the fringes of the country, in the Far East and Black Sea region. About 2,000 hectares are used to grow hemp.
The Federal Drug Control Service earlier said that a revival of hemp's industrial usage will help "to create new jobs and reduce social tensions in the regions, which are abundant with illegal wild cannabis."