With demand for hemp, a strain of the cannabis sativa plant, and its value-added products growing, the Tamil Nadu government is actively considering allowing the cultivation of hemp for industrial and medical purposes. 

Recently, the State Planning Commission held a discussion on 'promoting hemp crops in Tamil Nadu' and asked the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University to submit a feasibility report.

In a letter dated May 31, State Planning Commission member secretary TS Rajsekar wrote to the agricultural production commissioner and secretary of the agriculture and farmers' welfare department to identify the feasibility of hemp cultivation in Tamil Nadu's agro-climatic conditions, especially with reference to fallow land utilization.

Both hemp and cannabis are viewed with the same 'suspicious' lens and regulated under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act), although hemp has overwhelming benefits.

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