China Could Become a Major Player in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis grows are sprouting up all across China, even though marijuana is officially prohibited in the country. In some provinces, farmers are legally growing hemp plants, while in other provinces, illegal grows for medicinal or recreational use are becoming popular. The total amount of cannabis being grown in the country is considered a national secret, but “it’s a big figure,” according to Yang Ming, head of the cannabis research program at the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences. “Many farms are, strictly speaking, illegal under current law and regulations.”

One hectare of hemp can bring farmers over 10,000 yuan – about $1,500 – while common crops like corn only sell for a few thousand yuan per hectare. “That’s pure profit,” said Jiang Xingquan, a farmer who grows hemp plants in the Heilongjiang province near the Russian border. In this part of China, there are few pests that threaten cannabis plants,

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