Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, has signed a decree authorizing cannabis cultivation for industrial purposes in Russia. This decree contemplates the cultivation of varieties whose THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content does not exceed 1%. Its authorized use will be medicinal, therapeutic and veterinary.
In November 2019, Yevgeny Bryun, an independent drug abuse specialist at the Ministry of Health, reported on the initiation of specialized studies on the use of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. These studies, he explained, focused on the search for cannabinoids that will not cause psychosis and that, if no varieties were found that fit this requirement, it would not be possible to legalize cannabis hemp for medical use.
Just a few weeks ago it was reported that a huge hemp cultivation and production complex was planned to be built in Moscow Oblast, a city not far from Moscow located by the Senezh Lake’s shores. This project will consist of 3 stages:
- First stage: With an investment of about 172 million euros, the first stage will involve the implementation of the cannabis seeds cultivation. It is intended to start operating in 2021 in a plot of more than 5000 hectares. This complex would approximately create 420 jobs.
- Second stage: A 1500 square meters production plant will be built, with around 50 people working. This plant will produce oils and fibres and around 185 million euros will be necessary for its execution.
- Third stage: With an investment of some 257 million euros and about 130 employees, it is expected that, by 2024, a specialized area will be in a position to produce listed fiber, cosmetics and food products (butter, milk, flour, energy bars ...).
In Russia, cannabis cultivation has been carried out since ancient times, with great success and acceptance. Even in pre-Christian times. However, in 1987 Mikhail Gorbachev signed a decree which banned cultivation of cannabis in personal plots of land by making it a criminal activity. Russia might be on the verge of retrieving the traditional hemp crop, which was, back in the 18th century the world's largest producer. The high quality of the hemp produced in Russia, made it the number one export item, ahead of wood, leather or iron. Great Britain, for example, imported 90% of its hemp from there, its entire fleet depending on Russian hemp, highly valued for its quality for making candles, rope or nets.