Federal cabinet approves first license for industrial, medical use of hemp

A stand showcasing cannabidiol (CBD) oil products at the Department of Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine in Bangkok on Jan. 6, 2020. (AFP/File)
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Updated 01 September 2020

Federal cabinet approves first license for industrial, medical use of hemp

  • The license will be issued to the Ministry of Science and Technology and Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • Since cannabis is illegal in much of the world, the legal status of cannabis-derived compounds is not always certain

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry announced on Tuesday that the cabinet had approved the first license for industrial and medical use of hemp, a specific variety of cannabis plant. 

Hemp is used to extract a compound called CBD or Cannabidiol that is widely used for medical and therapeutic purposes. Since cannabis is illegal in much of the world, however, the legal status of CBD is not always certain either.
The European Union allows the sale of CBD in most of its member states under strict regulations.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States says on its website that it “recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities.”
However, the FDA “is aware that some companies are marketing products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk.”
The website adds that the agency is “committed to protecting the public health while also taking steps to improve the efficiency of regulatory pathways for the lawful marketing of appropriate cannabis and cannabis-derived products.”
In Pakistan, a large number of people prefer herbal and traditional medical treatments to more advanced scientific ones since they assume that herbal cures do not have side effects.
Many of these individuals also use CBD that is usually extracted at home.
With the federal cabinet’s decision to allow the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) to carry out the activity under license, people favoring herbal medicines might benefit from the decision, though the science minister did not give further details in his Twitter post.


Pakistan’s telecom regulator approaches Twitter after false Indian claims of 'civil war' in Karachi

Updated 22 October 2020

Pakistan’s telecom regulator approaches Twitter after false Indian claims of 'civil war' in Karachi

  • Leading media outlets in India used the social networking website to disseminate fabricated stories about clashes in Karachi
  • Twitter verified accounts were used to spread the fake news, making Pakistani authorities ask the social media giant to act against them

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) approached the Twitter management on Thursday, asking the social media giant not to allow users to spread fake information for propaganda purposes.
“In the wake of current smear campaign of spreading false and baseless information targeting Pakistan, its cities and institutions,” said an official handout, “PTA has stressed upon Twitter to effectively block handles involved in the campaign.”
The country released the statement after some Indian news networks falsely claimed that clashes had erupted between the Pakistan Army and Sindh Police in the country’s most densely populated city of Karachi.
The story was fabricated by some of the leading media outlets across the border, who claimed that a “civil war” was raging in Pakistan before disseminating the misleading story through social media platforms.
While Pakistani Twitter users mocked the Indian media, South Asia watchers were alarmed by the development.

 

 

Pakistani politicians also expressed their displeasure at the development, condemning the Indian media for its devious reporting.

 

 

In its official statement issued on Thursday, the PTA expressed its “disappointment” that a “number of accounts involved in propagation of untrue stories” were “Twitter verified.”
“However, they are still operating with immunity,” the statement added. “PTA has asked the platform to take immediate action against such accounts as per its guidelines and policies.”