The main impacts of hemp legalization

Cannabis needs to be legalized soon, otherwise Brazil has nothing to lose and we will prove it to you. In this article we will explore the properties and benefits of hemp (a species of cannabis) in 3 aspects: Environmental, Economic and Medicinal.

Hemp Historical context

Cannabis can be called many different ways, including hemp and marijuana. But there is a big difference between these two: the amount of THC in their composition. THC is a compound present in the cannabis plant, responsible for its psychoactive properties.

Hemp is a variety of cannabis that has less than 0.3% THC in its composition. That is, this type of plant does not cause any type of psychoactive change, the famous “cheap” .

Cannabis cultivation is becoming increasingly accepted and many countries have joined legalization for medicinal, economic, social and environmental reasons. Mainly its medicinal use, which has been gaining strength after many years of research and positive results in treatments. So much so that in December 2020 the UN recognized the medicinal properties of the plant and removed cannabis from the list of very dangerous narcotics, paving the way for more countries to approve its use for therapeutic purposes, also paving the way for more research related to its benefits.

But first, let’s understand why hemp was banned?

Most people might think it’s banned simply because it’s a drug and “bad for your health”. But the story goes much further than that, after all if that were the case, we would have many other banned substances and foods as well.

The cultivation of the plant was encouraged by the Portuguese Crown at the beginning of colonization. Long before it was banned around the world, cannabis was widely used to produce resin, fuel and paper. As a fast-growing plant, hemp was responsible for most of the paper produced in the world for over 2,000 years. With today’s technology, many other purposes are already explored from its cultivation, such as the production of plastic, dermatological creams and even foods with incredible health properties. The list of benefits and applications grows with each passing year.

But going back to history… its consumption as a psychoactive substance started to spread among slaves and Indians. At the end of the 19th century, its use came to be recommended by doctors in the treatment of insomnia, asthma and bronchitis. Today we also know the power it has to help the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, among others .

And knowing all the benefits of cultivation, several countries have already proved to us that legalization works in different aspects, as it means less violence, less government spending and the opening of a new source of taxation – super interesting for the economy. Now, if this is so explicit and so obvious, why doesn’t it happen? Why is it still criminalized and illegal by most countries? In fact, the reasons mix prejudice with minorities, racism , industry interests and religious moralisms.

Legislation in Brazil

In addition to these issues, which implicitly contribute to the ban on its cultivation, the legislation is also largely responsible for the ban in Brazil and ends up being supported by a large part of the population that believes it is harmful precisely because of prejudice and misinformation. In fact, Brazil was one of the countries that voted against the UN measure to remove marijuana from the list of most dangerous drugs, contrary to the WHO recommendation. The Brazilian government even said that the measure would be a “communist strategy of power”. But as the map below shows, the stance adopted by the country in the vote was the same as that of countries whose government is considered more authoritarian, such as Russia, Cuba and China.

Among the numerous benefits that legalization can provide to the country, some of them deserve great attention, they are the environmental, economic and medicinal.

Environmental impact

The vast potential of hemp in the pursuit of increasingly sustainable development. It is a source of raw material for many industries. Three main factors contribute to its popularity in this regard: ease and speed of growth, soil revitalization and conversion of CO2 into biomass.

In fertile lands, which is the case in Brazil , the hemp development period from sowing to harvesting is three to four months. With favorable land and climate, the Brazilian raw material would have the lowest international cost, competing with the Colombian one.

According to Dilsher Singh Dhaliwal, founder of India’s largest hemp growing company, the crop requires relatively few inputs: just organic fertilizers at sowing, no pesticides.

In addition to easy growth, it actively benefits the environment

Hemp plantations have the ability to help reclaim contaminated and degraded land through a process called phytoremediation. Research also points to a reduction in soil erosion and an increase in the yield of other plants when cultivated in rotation.

Soil revitalization is one of Kanna’s proposals . And the areas chosen to be impacted by it will not only benefit from revitalization, but a set of benefits that encourage sustainable economic and environmental development.

Fabrics made from hemp are also more durable and sustainable than fabrics made from cotton, which require a lot more water.

Paper made from hemp is of better quality and requires a quarter of land to produce the same amount of pulp. This means that it is possible to obtain more paper per hectare in less time, which can help fight deforestation, in addition to the fact that it can be recycled several times.

Hemp is also becoming a popular substitute for plastic and is currently used in Legos and car parts, for example. We already know that plastic is one of the most destructive sources of pollution worldwide, without exaggeration. Bioplastic , made from hemp, is a 100% biodegradable alternative and its manufacturing process does not harm the environment, unlike the fossil fuels used by most plastic products produced today.

Its use has been gaining ground even in civil construction as an alternative to traditional cement, which in turn has ecologically devastating sand mining. Known as “hempcrete” , the material made from hemp is light and at the same time resistant, offering excellent thermal regulation and humidity control.

For regular vehicles, it can become an efficient biofuel . Unlike gasoline, biofuel is obtained from living organisms and is normally mixed with regular fuel to create a product that is less harmful to the environment.

One hectare of industrial hemp can absorb 63 tonnes of CO2 , which makes it one of the best methods of converting CO2 into biomass.

On top of that, as it grows rapidly, one hectare of industrial hemp can absorb 63 tons of CO2 , which makes it one of the best methods of converting CO2 into biomass. And it is excellent for containing erosion and cleaning the soil, removing polluting and even radioactive residues, without impacting its development in any way.

LATAM potential

According to a study carried out by the company Kaya Mind , based on the cultivated and cultivable territory of the country, a projection of the productive potential of hemp was made, according to a comparison made with nations where the regulation already exists.

In summary, hemp is considered by the industry to be a conscious material, which has anti-flammable, biodegradable and regenerative properties.

Tip Medicine

The use of medical cannabis as an alternative treatment has been studied for decades and is considered one of the most controversial topics in medicine. The fight for the release of its use faces great resistance from both doctors and society as a whole, even with scientific evidence that proves its benefits for the treatment of various diseases, in addition to the fact that it is a safe type of treatment.

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Cannabis is a plant with over 500 chemical compounds and over 100 identified cannabinoids. Among them are the most common and studied: THC and CBD .

Like THC, CBD is a compound present in the plant. But unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties. On the contrary, it is a product widely used in medicines and even foods with several health benefits and few side effects. Although CBD is best known for medicinal use, THC also plays a role in health and can help treat diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety and depression. In addition, the side effects of THC’s typical psychotropics can be improved by combining it with a dose of CBD. Because of this, it has a wide therapeutic window, including chronic and neuropathic pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, chronic inflammation, among others.

There is no doubt that CBD can be a powerful ally in the health of many people. There are ongoing studies on how CBD can be used in cancer treatment and after-treatment effects.

CBD industry

In any case, the CBD industry is also gaining ground in the market, becoming a global business . Its potential anti-inflammatory and therapeutic effects help many people suffering from chronic diseases. According to preliminary evidence, cannabis can be a deciding factor in treating life-threatening illnesses and mitigating the side effects of medical treatments.

This increase in clinical evidence, positive patient reports and the (still very low) media coverage are contributing to the de-stigma of cannabis, but it is still a long way to go as Brazil’s laws remain retrograde even with the growing increase in cannabis. authorization and import of the product.

In addition to the psychoactive properties, another difference between CBD and THC is their legal status in Brazil. Only CBD is recognized as a medicine, although countries like Uruguay, Canada, the United States and Portugal already use full cannabis as a medical treatment. Remembering that even though it is legal, the use of cannabidiol can only be done by people who prove their need.

Regulation in Brazil

It is worth remembering that in Brazil, cultivation is not allowed and the use of the substance as a form of treatment requires the importation of both production inputs and medicines. Resulting in higher prices and monopoly of companies and industries, making access difficult for the population. But there is an alternative , which is why preventive habeas corpus for home cultivation has grown considerably over the years.

Despite the numerous proven benefits and ongoing studies and research, much remains to be discovered. We know that it is a promising compound and that countries that refuse research and testing are missing out on a huge opportunity. But the fight must go on , which is why there are several associations that defend patients’ access to treatment, mainly promoting information and research on the subject. Because in the end, those who pay the price are the patients who do not have access to the medicine .

The production of CBD to make the product accessible to patients who need it for their treatment is one of Kanna’s proposals , in addition to promoting the culture of a circular rather than linear economy.

Circular economy proposed by hemp

Circular economy proposed by hemp

Economic Potential of Hemp

The possibilities of using cannabis are huge. In addition to the development of a more sustainable economy and the use of CBD and even THC as allies in the treatment of diseases, hemp opens up a range of industrial uses. In total, there are more than 25 thousand application possibilities, which means a new market full of economic opportunities for the country. In construction, for example, its fibers can be used together with powdered limestone and water to create an alternative concrete.

Hemp Applications

Growing global hemp demand

Marijuana is the most consumed illicit drug in the world. In recent years, legalization experiments have been carried out with promising results in places like Uruguay and the US states of Colorado and Washington.

A study by New Frontier Data, in partnership with The Green Hub – a network specializing in innovation and technology entirely focused on the cannabis sector – points out that, in the United States alone, total hemp sales for the industry moved US$1.1 billion. in 2018 and is estimated to reach US$2.61 billion by 2022.

Due to the current global pandemic, the entire world is suffering economic consequences. Against this backdrop, many states, countries, and even municipalities are turning to legal and medical cannabis to offset some of these problems. The legalization of cannabis can help fuel this billion dollar market, reflecting on the economy around the world .

Latin America, for example, has suffered major consequences. Lawmakers in Colombia, Mexico and Paraguay urge their countries to bet on legalizing cannabis . This market can provide additional jobs and economic growth, as well as exports, and can improve the well-being and quality of life of its populations.

Impacts in Brazil

A study by the Chamber of Deputies in April 2016, made a document on the economic impact of the possible legalization of cannabis in Brazil, pointing out that the financial impact would be relevant. The tax collection could finance health and education, as in the state of Colorado (USA), benefit the advancement of studies in medicine and in the treatment of diseases that make use of the plant.

According to the study, it is possible to estimate the tax revenue obtained with the legalization of consumption. With a well-implemented tax policy, the Legislative Consultancy of the Chamber of Deputies points to a collection that varies between R$5 and R$6 billion per year. In addition to savings of up to R$1 billion in expenses related to the containment of drug trafficking.

On the national scene, cannabis revenue – only medicinal – has the potential to reach R$4.7 billion in the first three years of legal sale. Economists point out that the country could earn between R$10.7 to R$12.9 billion .

Unlike dozens of other industries, the cannabis sector experienced significant growth in 2020 , ignoring the global crisis and hitting record highs. After years of investor uncertainty, analysts are predicting a bullish market in 2021.

The thing is, the world is increasingly recognizing the possibilities of hemp . China, for example, as one of the biggest powers in the world has already become the biggest producer and exporter of hemp even with some products being illegal in its domestic market.

Hemp and Kanna

A proof of the potential appreciation of this market is the profitability of its investment sector. According to an article by BPMoney, investing in cannabis can be just as profitable as investing in bitcoin .

“Bitcoin has been considered one of the most profitable investments of the decade. The currency that is currently traded on B3 has already been criminalized and associated with various illegal activities, despite this, the cryptocurrency in the last 4 years has gone from the BRL 1,700 range to over BRL 330,000, up 19,411%.

Another investment that has also been heavily criminalized, and still is across much of the globe, is cannabis. It has raised its bar from an illicit drug to a serious and promising industry, which according to Cointelegraph, promises to be as profitable as Bitcoin.

With the sequence of changes in legislation, companies operating in the cannabis investment sector saw it rise in value by more than 161,900%.

With the objective of bringing together two of the most profitable investments of recent times – cryptoassets and cannabis – backing their value directly in socio-environmental impact through blockchain, Kanna’s proposal is to unite profitability with sustainability.

Legalization’s popularity grows after implementation . According to YouGov, an international research data and analysis group based in London, the vast majority of the population of legal states consider the move a huge success. Interestingly, this perception is correlated with the passage of time and the efficiency of the system. Portugal, which decriminalized all drugs 15 years ago, is now the country with the lowest rates of consumption among young people in Europe.

However, it is important to point out that, despite having medicinal qualities, the recreational use of marijuana is not curative or risk-free. What we can see from these examples is that at first, it might not seem like a good idea to the vast majority of people who still haven’t seen the whole picture. But it’s all a matter of time, education and especially the dissemination of information to reap these benefits. Want to support the project?

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