Cannabis medicine in state to be reality soon?

Health department called for meeting of various officials and experts three months ago; former health dept principal secretary also asked the Ayush to take a look at a proposal of the GLM

Published: 23rd December 2017 01:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2017 07:19 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: If all goes well, the state may probably be the only one in the country to allow the use of medicine made from cannabis.About three months ago, a meeting was held on the issue with a panel comprising of officials from the health department,  state department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Aaturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoepathy (Ayush), finance and excise department and experts and doctors from the field of the Ayurveda.

Viki Vaurora, founder, Great Legalisation Movement (GLM), an organisation working to legalise cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes in India, was also part of the meeting. “We have been approaching the government for the past one and half years on the issue. During this time we even got a sort of an approval from the health department. The former principal secretary of the health department, Shalini Ragneesh was very positive and cooperative and immediately asked for the matter to be looked by Ayush,” says Viki.

Issuing of licences

He also says the discussion was on the lines of organisations such as his to tie up with scientists and doctors and growers to get licenses to grow and produce medicine from cannabis. “This (medicine) would then be given to Ayush to distribute it through Ayurvedic doctors in the state. They could provide licenses for a couple of entrepreneurs. As of now we were the first people to approach the state government on the matter. It seems positive but we shall see how it works out,” says Viki while adding, “The entire process has been very slow. If the government approves this plan, we would be a model state, the first state in the country to legally help people through this traditional Indian plant.”Dr M S Prema Kumari, an ayurvedic doctor and government ayurvedic medical officer, Kidwai Cancer Hospital, Ayush was one of the experts who was consulted by government during the meeting. She says, “Cannabis is a wonderful drug. However it needs to be administered with a lot of care and supervision. A lot of research work has to be done on the matter. How long it has to be given? What dosages? Scientific data should be maintained. Otherwise it could be misused. Many cases of cure from the drug we hear of are mainly based on testimonials of people and not scientific studies,” she says.Dr Prema, adds that a final report with such points was given to the government. She also says that whether it be a ayurvedic or allopathy doctors, training is required to administer a drug made from cannabis. She gave the example of morphine. “At Kidwai for example, the administration of morphine on patients is being carried out scientifically and under strict supervision”  she adds.

File stuck

When CE contacted Shalini Ragneesh who is now the principal secretary, Education Department, she directed us to Dr Saraswathi R, Joint Director, Ayush. Dr Saraswathi did not receive our calls or answer our messages.Viki says the file on the matter has been “stuck” with the department of finance and excise.

Letter to excise dept for NoC

In a letter written by Shalini Ragneesh on July 14, she addresses Rajendra Prasad, Additional Commissioner of Excise (IML), State Excise Department, on the matter. It reads, “It is learnt that Central Government Narcotics Control Bureau has authorised the State government to issue licenses regarding cannabis cultivation. May I request you to expediate the issue of No Objection Certificate.” This is in relation to the proposal by the GLM and the SOEMAS Research Institute, another organisation also headed by Viki. No action has however been initiatied by the excise department as yet.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp