While the medicinal, industrial and recreational use of cannabis is still largely illegal in India, the plant has been finding increasing acceptance elsewhere in the world
NEW DELHI: The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has issued a Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) to HempStreet, a research to retail venture in the Medicinal Cannabis sector. The grant is for work on medicinal cannabis solution - a first in India.
The company on Tuesday said it has plans to utilise the funds to patent and commercialise a recent research breakthrough around transdermal delivery technology that could disrupt a $7 billion global industry. HempStreet aims to tackle mass-ailments utilising researched and responsibly dispensed medicinal cannabis for pain relief to an addressable patient base of over 35 million.
"We are committed to contribute to the global medical cannabis industry, not just in volume and impact, but as an innovator in the category. We are confident that this research breakthrough will be the first of many more that will come out of India. We intend to become a Made in India brand, for the world," Abhishek Mohan, co-founder and CEO, HempStreet, India, said.
In around six months, HempStreet claimed it has marked the fastest rollout witnessed by the industry across over 2,000 clinics in 24 states in India that are now prescribing HempStreet medicines.
Past winners of BIG include Bharat Biotech, pioneers of India’s COVID vaccine research and development efforts.
“We hope that this would put us in an elite, and rather rarified, group of environmentally responsible biotechnology companies. Our research is also a testament to the potential of cutting edge biotechnology innovation from India, furthermore in an industry as nascent as the medicinal cannabis industry," Shrey Jain, co-founder and COO, HempStreet, India, said.
As HempStreet is working with cannabis which falls under the Schedule E-1 category, the company said it has proactively taken pre-emptive steps to avoid any changes of abuse or mis-demeanor by ensuring a solid supply chain through a blockchain mechanism.
While the medicinal, industrial and recreational use of cannabis is still largely illegal in India, the plant has been finding increasing acceptance elsewhere in the world. The Delhi high court in 2019 had issued a notice to the Centre, challenging the prohibition and criminalisation of the plant for industrial and medicinal purposes, while side-stepping similar demands for recreational use.