Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Marijuana in Kazakhstan. Not to Be Destroyed but Used

by Guzal Mirzarahimova

All drug users and dealers in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other neighboring countries know that marijuana grows in the Chuy valley. There is no way this narcotic herb can be destroyed: dig over the land just to see more of it growing there in the next year, pull out seven meter long roots to bring sand into villages or bury roads under it. A decision was made in Kazakhstan to build a hemp processing plant to manufacture medicine and fiber. However these intentions counter bureaucratic hindrances and lack of understanding on the side of drug fighters.

This place is ill famed not only in Kazakhstan, but far beyond it as well. It has been known for ages that Chuy (Shu) valley is a paradise for drug users and drug dealers. Much has been done to do away with the evil called marijuana. Unfortunately the humanity could not outwit the nature: the hemp neither burns nor drowns.

Turn poison into a medicine and a rope

There are some people who decided to use the hemp for constructive purposes. They plan to build a plant in Jambul region to process wild hemp growing in Chuy valley. Currently a company from Almaty Special Partnership "XELORIA" is developing 15 hectares of land in the southern industrial zone of Shu town in Shu district for building the enterprise. The cost of the industrial component of the project is about 54 million USD, and that of the pharmaceutical component totals to 20 million USD. Founders of "XELORIA" along with international and Kazakh financial institutions will generate funding for the project implementation.

First the plant plans to launch pharmaceutical production of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the active element of cannabis.

In the second and later stages they plan to develop industrial (textile) line. Such industrial and commodity goods as fiber, rope and cord products, hemp oil, clothes, shoes, and etc.

The first stage is expected to be set in operation in the beginning of the next year.

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