As 2017 comes to a close, a country that’s home to nearly 18 percent of the world’s population is talking about cannabis, thanks largely to the wealthy and charitable Ratan Tata.
On Dec. 17, the massive South Asian nation of India had its first ever marijuana march to bring attention to the idea of legalization.
Less than a week later, it was reported one of the country’s biggest business tycoons, Ratan Tata, funded India’s first medical cannabis research organization, the Bombay Hemp Company (BHC). Tata was joined by Rajan Anandan, the managing director for Google India, who also invested capital in the startup.
The Bombay Hemp Company was created to explore various applications of cannabis as medicine. In order to bypass any legal hurdles, the organization partnered with India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Based in Mumbai, BHC is cultivating cannabis in the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the intent of researching the crops for the treatment of epilepsy, breast cancer, and palliative care.
“We already have our first batch of cannabis plants cultivated in Jammu,” said Avnish Pandya, co-founder of BHC. “[It is] within the CSIR…