The South China Morning Post writes,
Green gold: how China quietly grew into a cannabis superpower
Plantations are flourishing thanks to Chinese-developed hybrid species that have not just survived but thrived in the country’s disparate environments.
For the farmers, the crop is green gold – hemp brings in more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,500) per hectare, compared to just a few thousand yuan for more common crops like corn. It also has few natural enemies so there’s little need for expensive pesticides.
“That’s pure profit,” Jiang said.
more than half of the world’s 600-plus patents related to the plant are now held in China, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation. This has prompted concerns in the Western pharmaceutical industry that the Chinese government or Chinese firms might take advantage of the patent barriers.
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