Nepal to legalise marijuana cultivation for medicinal purposes

Nepal to legalise marijuana cultivation for medicinal purposes

Kathmandu | Nepal will legalise marijuana cultivation and consumption for medicinal purposes, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun announced on Tuesday while presenting the government's budget estimates for the 2024-35 fiscal year.

Addressing the joint session of Parliament, Pun said that necessary laws would be framed for commercial production of marijuana in the country.

"Legal arrangements will be made for commercial cultivation and consumption of marijuana for medical use," Pun said while unveiling a budget of Rs 1.860 trillion for the fiscal year 2024/25.

Legalising marijuana farming in Nepal not only requires amending the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act 2033, but it is necessary to send an application to the Narcotic Convention to convince the International Narcotics Control Board.

Nepal is a signatory to the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, which classifies marijuana as a hard drug like heroin, the Nepalese media reported last year when a similar proposal was included in the budget for the 2023-24 fiscal.

Of the total budget amount, Rs 1.14066 trillion is allocated for recurrent expenditure, Rs 352.35 billion for capital expenditure and Rs 367.18 billion for financial management, Pun said.

The finance minister projected an economic growth of 6 per cent for the upcoming fiscal year and said the government will keep the inflation rate within the limit of 5.5 per cent.

He said that to cover the expenses, the government aims to collect Rs 1,260 billion as revenue and mobilise Rs 52 billion as foreign grants, adding that over Rs 200 billion will be taken on foreign loans and over Rs 300 billion as internal loans to meet the gap.

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