It looks like United States isn’t the only country getting pissy over Canada’s prodigious weed production. Apparently, the Chinese government is none too happy with Canada, blaming them for what they consider a weed problem at home.
That’s according to Forbes, which also reports that China’s gripe may be justified. Around 20% of Canadians cannabis (valued at roughly $1.2 billion) goes outside the country, and “a good portion [is] believed to be China-bound.”
China is somewhat hard to figure out when it comes to its attitude toward weed. Though its upset at Canada for that country’s weed leakage, China itself produces about 50% of the world’s cannabis, though mostly hemp.
Added to this, Forbes reports that of the 606 cannabis-related patents in the world, 309 of them belong to Chinese companies. Since many western countries like the United States have regulations which limit cannabis research, that means that China poses a very real competitor when it comes to medical and recreational marijuana innovation.
“There are no official figures for the amount of the plant China produces each year, but plantations are flourishing — both for commercial and illicit drug use,” reported The New Zealand Herald. “This growth was in part made possible by government-funded scientists assigned to study the plant’s military uses, including medication and uniform fabric.”
And if you want to try get your head straight on China’s attitude towards weed, you’ll also have to untie the knot that is extremely severe penalties for cannabis-related crimes.
According to website Medical Marijuana Inc., “individuals who smuggle, traffic, transport or manufacture narcotic drugs are sentenced to either 15 years of prison, life imprisonment or death, and suffer confiscation of property.” And Forbes reports that in Hong Kong any person caught growing marijuana can face 15 years in prison and a HK$100,000 fine.
Even stranger, with all this weed production and scientific patenting, Chinese weed is sometimes “downright rank.” What’s going on over there?
Picture via Flickr user Global Panorama